‘Always remember’: Funeral held for 2 Edmonton police officers killed on duty
A sheriff salutes during a procession for Edmonton Police Service Const. Travis Jordan and Const. Brett Ryan in Edmonton on Monday, March 27, 2023. The officers were killed in the line of duty on March 16, 2023. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
By Ritika Dubey and Angela Amato in Edmonton
Two police officers killed in the line of duty were honoured Monday at a regimental funeral with tears and tales of off-key crooning, birdies and beers, laughs and contagious joy.
Thousands of officers gathered with family members to say a formal goodbye to Edmonton police Const. Travis Jordan, 35, and Const. Brett Ryan, 30, at Rogers Place arena, the home area of the Edmonton Oilers.
“I’ll remember his smile, his wheezy laugh — we’ve been told we laugh the exact same way. I will always remember how excited he was when Brett found out he was going to be a dad, and I know that is one memory I will never lose,” Ryan’s pregnant widow, Ashley, said in her eulogy.
“You will live on in baby Ryan and they will know every last detail about how special you were to so many people and, most importantly, to me. I love you forever. I’ll miss you always.”
Jordan’s widow, Annie, stood silently beside police chaplain Roy Langer as he read her parting words.
“We didn’t have one hard day in 11 years,” she said through Langer.
“The world was really ours. We had already started leaving our mark in some many different places.”
The officers were shot at multiple times while responding to a family dispute on March 16. Police said the shooter, 16, then shot and wounded his mother during a struggle for the gun, before shooting and killing himself.
Jordan was remembered by colleagues as a valued officer of almost nine years, working to join the tactical squad. He came to Edmonton from Nova Scotia so he could realize his childhood dream of becoming an officer.
Sgt. Perry Getzinger and Sgt. Chris Gallahger remembered Jordan, or T.J., as a “great dog dad” to canines Teddy and B.J.
They recalled an excellent, ultracompetitive golfer who will live on in happy memories of lost balls and fairway trash talk from their “Birdies and Beers” golf trip.
Brodie Sampson, a childhood friend, said people who knew Jordan “were able to experience (his) kindness, contagious joy and unparalleled positivity even in the face of hardships.”
“(It) gets us through these hard times now,” he added.
Ryan, born in Edmonton, had more than five years’ service with the force after working as a paramedic.
Ashley Ryan recalled life with the man with “a crooked little grin,” who got up in the morning to have coffee and read the news in his fuzzy slippers, “because he was such an old man at heart.”
Her husband, she said, loved skydiving, baseball and their dogs, even the one who chewed up their couch.
Garett Ryan said his older brother loved trips to Las Vegas and Mexico, eating donairs and Baconator burgers. He remembered driving around with his brother, windows down belting out Kenny Chesney country music songs.
“I often called him my big little brother because that’s how much I looked up to him.”
The caskets were brought to Rogers Place in two hearses that inched their way through the downtown from the legislature under bright sun amid chill winds. They were followed by officers from across the country.
They marched eight abreast, arms swinging amid the pipes and drums of interspersed marching bands while onlookers lined the streets. Some held up placards with painted blue hearts, others placed their right hands over their hearts.
“We’re here to support all of the first responders but in particular our son, who is a police officer with Calgary Police Services,” said Jim Funk, who attended the procession with wife, Chris.
“We feel so sad, especially for the families of the two officers, but that extends out to the whole first responder family nationwide.”
Said Chris Funk: “It’s probably the worst nightmare families can experience.”
Two caskets, each draped in a Canadian flag, were carried into the arena on the shoulders of Edmonton police pallbearers.
The service was not open to the public but was livestreamed and broadcast outdoors at the Ice Plaza next to Rogers Place.
Dozens shivered in the cold to watch, including 15-year-old Charlie Dennis, whose father is an Edmonton officer.
“It’s nice to know that there are people around that would care and would show up,” she said.
Police continue to investigate the circumstances of the shooting and have said the same gun was used days earlier at a nearby Pizza Hut, leaving a man injured.
Police had also been called to the teen shooter’s home in November, apprehending him under the Mental Health Act before taking him to hospital for an assessment.
The day of the shooting, the boy’s mother called saying she was having trouble with her son. Police said there was no indication he had a gun or that the officers were walking into a high-risk or dangerous situation.
There have been 10 officers killed in the line of duty in Edmonton.
The most recent previous death was of Const. Daniel Woodall, who was shot in 2015 trying to enter the house of a suspect wanted for criminal harassment.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 27, 2023.
— With files from Dean Bennett
United Conservatives jump out to early lead in tight Alberta election
By Dean Bennett
Alberta’s United Conservative Party jumped out to a lead over the NDP in early returns Monday in what was forecast to be a tight race in the provincial election.
Danielle Smith’s UCP was holding strong in its traditional rural strongholds while Rachel Notley’s NDP was faring well in Edmonton, where it won all but one seat in 2019.
Early results were still mixed in the key battleground of Calgary.
The UCP is seeking a second mandate while the NDP is fighting to regain the majority government it lost to the UCP in 2019.
Polling have suggested a close contest between the two parties, with support for smaller parties falling off.
Advance polls set a record of 758,540 votes cast, eclipsing the previous record of more than 700,000 in 2019.
The campaign has taken place alongside a record-breaking spring for wildfires in Alberta. Ten communities were under evacuation orders Monday.
Elections Alberta set up alternate voting locations for those displaced. Evacuation was added as an eligible reason to vote by special ballot and mobile voting stations were placed in evacuation centres.
Calgary has been seen as the campaign’s battleground and half of the top 10 advance polling stations were in that city. Two were in Edmonton suburbs.
To win, the NDP would have to continue its dominance in Edmonton, flip the majority in Calgary and hope for some help in smaller cities, while defeating scores of UCP incumbents including cabinet ministers.
The NDP needs to swing 20 seats in the 87-seat legislature.
The UCP won 63 seats under then-leader Jason Kenney in 2019 to 24 for Notley’s NDP.
Polls suggest the UCP should continue its near total domination in rural areas and smaller centres, giving it a cushion of up to 40 or so seats to reach the 44 needed to form a majority government.
The month-long campaign has been dominated by the economy and health care.
Albertans are struggling with high costs for consumer goods, a shortage of family doctors and long waits in emergency rooms.
Smith has promised to keep Alberta the lowest-tax regime in Canada.
Her government, she says, would introduce a law to mandate a referendum before any personal or corporate income tax hikes. There would also be tax changes to benefit those making more than $60,000 a year, at a cost of $1 billion annually to the treasury.
The NDP promised to maintain Alberta’s status as Canada’s lowest tax regime. It pledged to end the tax on small businesses and raise the corporate income tax to 11 per cent from eight per cent, which it says would help pay for investments in health and education while keeping the books balanced and maintaining the lowest corporate rate in Canada.
The NDP also promised legislation to counteract UCP policies that hiked the cost of utilities, auto insurance, a range of fees and tuition.
Both leaders promised to preserve the publicly funded health system while creating more primary care teams — physicians accompanied by related specialists such as nurses and therapists — so more Albertans are able to access a family doctor and not clog emergency wards for care.
Polls showed trust was a key issue, with Notley viewed more favourably than her party and vice versa for Smith.
Smith was dogged during the campaign by past comments she made comparing those who took the COVID-19 vaccine to credulous followers of Adolf Hitler. A report also came out mid-campaign from the province’s ethics commissioner that concluded Smith undermined the rule of law by pressuring her justice minister to end the criminal court case of a COVID-19 protester.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 29, 2023.
Police looking for these 3 suspects after Super 8 Motel in Innisfail robbed early Monday morning
Innisfail RCMP investigate robbery
Innisfail Ala. – On May 29, 2023, at approximately 4:10 a.m., the Super 8 motel in Innisfail was the victim of an armed robbery. Three male suspects entered the hotel, two of which had firearms. Money was demanded from the manager. All three left the motel in a vehicle which is described as:
- Chevrolet Dura Max truck
The suspects are described as:
Suspect #1: Caucasian male, tall and muscular. Wearing jeans and a grey Under Armour hoody. He was carrying a pistol.
Suspect #2: Caucasian male, short. Wearing all black. He was carrying a sawed off shotgun
Suspect #3: Caucasian male tall with a chubby belly. He was wearing a grey hoody, jeans and a black ball hat.
If you have information about this incident, please call the Innisfail RCMP at 403-227-3341 or call your local police. If you want to remain anonymous, you can contact Crime Stoppers by phone at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS), by internet atwww.tipsubmit.com, or by SMS (check your local Crime Stoppers www.crimestoppers.ab.ca for instructions).
UPDATE: Red Deer RCMP arrest 31 year old Chad Wickett for conspiracy to commit murder
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