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Woman shot as she rushed police with sword… investigators release details


4 minute read

From The Alberta Serious Incident Response Team (ALERT)

Investigation into fatality during RCMP encounter

On Sept. 23, 2019, the Alberta Serious Incident Response Team (ASIRT) was directed to investigate the circumstances surrounding the death of a 42-year-old woman that same day during an encounter with Strathcona County RCMP officers.

The investigation into the death of the woman continues; however, video recordings from the RCMP vehicles and audio recordings of the woman’s calls to RCMP provide some context to the events that occurred.

The woman placed two calls to RCMP for assistance that morning. At approximately 3 a.m., RCMP officers responded to a home in Sherwood Park in response to a complaint from the woman that she believed that someone was in her back yard. The woman advised she was in an abusive relationship. She expressed fear that someone associated with her boyfriend, who was currently in custody, might be present. Officers cleared the area, finding no one in the vicinity, and the matter was concluded.

At approximately 7:25 a.m, the woman called Strathcona RCMP a second time to advise that she was going to kill herself and asking officers to attend. She advised she had been drinking and had been planning to kill herself for a while. She advised she was armed with a knife and a Katana sword. She detailed what had been happening in her life and was despondent and distraught. As the call proceeded, RCMP officers were dispatched to the residence. The person speaking with the woman kept her on the line, remaining calm, responsive and attempting to de-escalate the situation, but after some time, the woman said “I have to hang up now” and abruptly ended the call.

When called back, the woman answered, screaming “Why aren’t they here yet” but abruptly hung up again, as she appeared to have observed officers arriving on scene.

The first officer on scene remained within the police vehicle and tried to speak with the woman who was now standing in her front doorway armed with a Katana sword. She spoke in a calm and polite tone and asked the woman to “please” put down the weapon and come outside. Two additional officers arrived on scene to assist and all exited their police vehicles.

What happened next, as reflected on the video, occurred very quickly. The woman came outside and ran at the police officers, sword extended in front of her, as she was directed to drop the weapon. The woman came within very close proximity to the officers, where a confrontation occurred that resulted in one officer discharging a firearm. The woman sustained injury and fell to the ground. Immediately, officers attempted to provide emergency medical aid. The woman was transported to hospital, where she was pronounced deceased.

With ASIRT’s investigation underway, no further information will be released at this time.

ASIRT’s mandate is to effectively, independently and objectively investigate incidents involving Alberta’s police that have resulted in serious injury or death to any person, as well as serious or sensitive allegations of police misconduct.

After 15 years as a TV reporter with Global and CBC and as news director of RDTV in Red Deer, Duane set out on his own 2008 as a visual storyteller. During this period, he became fascinated with a burgeoning online world and how it could better serve local communities. This fascination led to Todayville, launched in 2016.

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