Stephane Massinon (Postmedia News) – The team investigating the shooting death of an Alberta man following a police standoff said Monday the victim was holding an umbrella — not a firearm — when he was shot by RCMP.
In its first update on the Sunday morning shooting, the Alberta Serious Incident Response Team (ASIRT) said they are investigating the RCMP constable who fired the deadly shots.
The team’s executive director, Clifton Purvis, described the umbrella as dark and about one metre long. Purvis said it appeared to the officer the man was holding a weapon at the time of the shooting.
“He exited the home, knelt down on one knee, raised the umbrella and pointed it, the umbrella held to his cheek, towards the police officer,” said Purvis. “The information police had was that he had long-barrelled weapons lawfully registered to him.”
Police said the man owned five guns, including four rifles.
Police were called to the residence in Okotoks, a small community just south of Calgary, around 7:30 p.m. on Saturday over reports that a man had struck a teenage boy.
“When they [first] attended on the scene, he presented holding a shotgun to four uniformed members,” said Purvis.
Police have said that the man had threatened officers and refused to put the gun down. Officers moved away from the house and called in ASIRT.
The man then re-emerged around 2 a.m. Sunday morning, carrying another object — later determined to be the umbrella.
Investigators say six shots were fired by the ASIRT officer, but it’s unclear how many times the man was hit. He died in hospital a few hours later.