Man fatally shot by Mountie was armed with axe, police watchdog says

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ASIRT investigators say a 24-year-old man shot by RCMP Saturday was carrying this axe during the confrontation with police.  (ASIRT - image credit)
ASIRT investigators say a 24-year-old man shot by RCMP Saturday was carrying this axe during the confrontation with police. (ASIRT - image credit)

Alberta's policing watchdog says a 24-year-old man shot by RCMP during a confrontation on Saturday was armed with an axe.

An officer fired several rounds from his service pistol around 10:30 a.m. after the man emerged from a home on the on the O'Chiese First Nation, the Alberta Serious Incident Response Team (ASIRT) said Tuesday in a news release.

"Based on available video, it is clear that the man was carrying an axe when he exited," the news release said.

"A confrontation occurred between the man and RCMP officers, resulting in one officer discharging several rounds from his service pistol, striking the man, who immediately fell to the ground."

ASIRT investigators are asking anyone who witnessed the confrontation, or has any information or video related to the shooting to contact them.

RCMP were first called to a disturbance in the area around 9:30 a.m. A caller told police a man was screaming and jumping on vehicles.

Two members of the Rocky Mountain House detachment responded to the call in separate vehicles, ASIRT said.

Upon arrival, the officers were directed to a residence. When officers knocked on the door, it was answered by a 24-year old man who was known to police and who was known to have warrants for his arrest, ASIRT said.

The man "slammed the door," ASIRT said, and the two officers returned to their vehicles just as a third officer arrived at the scene.

As police began the process to obtain a warrant to enter the home, the man emerged from the residence and was shot.

The officers provided first aid to the man while waiting for paramedics to arrive, ASIRT said. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

The axe has been seized as an exhibit in the ongoing investigation, ASIRT said.

ASIRT investigates incidents involving Alberta police that result in serious injury or death, as well as serious or sensitive allegations of police misconduct.

RCMP said no officers were harmed in the altercation and that the man's identity will be released after next-of-kin is notified.

The O'Chiese First Nation is about 225 kilometres southwest of Edmonton.

Following Saturday's fatal shooting, the community was the backdrop for another violent confrontation.

Four people were injured in three different locations in a shooting Monday evening, which sent the community into a temporary lockdown.

Police were called to the community at around 5.30 p.m. after a report that someone had been shot.

The RCMP's emergency response team was deployed and police asked residents to remain indoors.

Two suspects were arrested and police say they believe the threat to the community is over.

Police say the four who were shot are not believed to have suffered life-threatening injuries. Police are expected to release more details once charges are laid.