Man was carrying an air gun before being shot and killed by police: ASIRT

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Alberta’s Serious Incident Response Team (ASIRT) has released more details into the circumstances surrounding the death of a man killed in an officer shooting in Edmonton this week.

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The incident happened last Tuesday night when Edmonton police say they were called to a hotel in the area of 53 Avenue and Calgary Trail at 9:36 p.m. after receiving reports that a man was “damaging vehicles and discharging a firearm” in the hotel’s parking lot.

An update Friday from ASIRT said police reported the 43-year-old man who was killed after the confrontation with police had a gun and was “slashing and shooting at tires in a hotel parking lot.”

While officers were responding, they were told by hotel staff that the man had left the parking lot on foot, heading eastbound across Gateway Boulevard in the direction of a nearby gas bar.

Police shortly encountered a man matching the initial description walking southbound in the middle lanes of Gateway Boulevard, and what occurred next was captured on video from the Edmonton Police Service Air 1 helicopter.

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As police tactical officers exited their vehicles, the man turned and ran northbound, away from police, who followed him on foot. ASIRT said he was seen carrying a dark object in his right hand, and near Gateway Boulevard and 56 Avenue, “events occurred that resulted in officers discharging their firearms,” and the man sustained critical injuries.

Paramedics declared the man died at the scene.

A black object, which the man dropped when he was struck, was recovered and later determined to be an imitation Glock air pistol. A magazine consistent with use in an air pistol was later recovered from the hotel parking lot.

Stuart Baron, a visitor to Edmonton, told Postmedia that around 9:30 p.m. Tuesday night he heard a loud bang outside his hotel room.

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While Baron was grabbing diapers for his son, he said he had a brief encounter with the man outside.

“When he approached me he wasn’t brandishing a weapon at the time, he had a bottle of alcohol in his hand,” said Baron, adding they made polite small talk.

“He kind of waved me off and kept on walking … and I was kind of like, ‘Oh, that was strange,’ closed up my trunk and went back inside,” said Baron, before he later learned of the confrontation with police and the man’s death.

“If I realized what the situation was, I wouldn’t have been out there walking around,” said Baron.

ASIRT is asking for witnesses, including anyone who may have been in the area of 56 Avenue and Gateway Boulevard, to contact them at 780-644-1483.

lijohnson@postmedia.com

twitter.com/reportrix

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