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Despite hours of negotiations, armed man killed by police in eastend Calgary standoff

A 30-hour armed standoff with Calgary police that forced some residents of a southeast neighbourhood out of their homes came to an end on Friday night after officers shot a man dead.

Police had been stationed outside a home in the Penbrooke Meadows neighbourhood since Thursday afternoon trying to negotiate with a man who had allegedly barricaded himself inside and was firing shots at officers.

Investigators estimated about 100 shots were fired from within the home before "the situation escalated" on Friday night at around 8:30 p.m. local time.

Chief Const. Mark Neufeld offered no details about the escalation or how the man died, but told a late-night news conference that public safety concerns were a factor throughout the standoff.

"This is an unfortunate outcome, but our top priority was always the safety of the community," Neufeld said. "We made every effort to bring this to a safe and peaceful conclusion and have employed numerous tactics and resources over the duration of this prolonged event. This includes intermittent negotiations with the individual for more than 30 hours."

The standoff began at around 3 p.m. on Thursday when police went to the home to execute a search warrant related to a separate gun-related investigation. Police said those not involved in the probe were able to leave the home before the man barricaded himself inside and adds no one was hurt as a result of the subsequent gunfire.

The RCMP Emergency Response Team eventually joined Calgary Police in their efforts to resolve the standoff, and Neufeld said both local tactical unit officers and Mounties were involved when the man was shot. He declined to provide further details, noting the Alberta Serious Incident Response Team is now investigating the shooting.

"This was a tremendously dynamic situation that posed immense risk to the surrounding community and to our officers," Neufeld said. "I'm extremely proud of the efforts of our members to de-escalate the situation and to encourage a safe, voluntary surrender."

The standoff prompted the evacuation of some nearby homes.

Police cited safety concerns for the order to leave, noting active gunfire made the risk level "extremely high" for both officers and the public.

Neufeld said the investigation "will take a bit of time, adding investigators are still processing the scene.

He asked displaced residents to monitor official police social media accounts for word on when they have the green light to return home.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 16, 2024.

The Canadian Press