A 27-year-old man was killed Wednesday following a vehicle chase and armed confrontation with RCMP on the Queen Elizabeth II Highway south of Leduc, Alta.
An RCMP officer suffered serious but non-life-threatening injuries, police said in a news release.
The incident began at a home in Blackfalds, just north of Red Deer, at 8:15 a.m. MT when RCMP were responding to a gun complaint.
When officers arrived, shots were fired toward their vehicles. A woman was shot and taken to hospital with serious injuries, RCMP said. The woman was “not related to the incident,” police said.
Officers tried to contained the area, but the man involved in the incident fled in a vehicle, the release said.
After his vehicle was located heading north on the QEII, police attempted to stop him using a spike belt. The vehicle crossed the median and continued travelling north in the southbound lane.
When the vehicle was finally stopped, a confrontation occurred.
The man was killed and an RCMP officer who was injured was later taken to hospital.
An eyewitness told CBC News he was driving south on the QEII around 9:30 a.m. MT when a northbound RCMP vehicle came toward him on his side of the highway. When he pulled over to the shoulder, several more police vehicles drove past.
“There were five or six SUVs on the wrong side of the road chasing a black BMW and then suddenly someone hit the back of the BMW, it looked like, and spun him sideways,” said Dale Slater.
‘A cloud of dust and smoke’
“It was kind of like you see on TV all time, they spun out the back end. There was a cloud of dust and smoke.”
A number of officers jumped out of their vehicles and ran toward the BMW, Slater said.
“There were shots fired, and the next thing you know, they pulled him out of the car and he was on the ground,” he said.
“It looked like one officer was injured … he was behind one of the cars. They had people dealing with him as well as the person that came out of the black BMW.”
He said he heard several shots fired.
“I didn’t actually see the gunfire, we just heard it take off,” he said. “There were a number of quick shots in repetition right after each other, but we weren’t actually able to see who was shooting.”
WATCH | Footage from the scene of the shooting:
Steve Hutchison was at his home near the highway when he heard a helicopter circling low around 9:30 a.m.
“I went out to look to see what was going on,” Hutchinson said. “I saw the police helicopter; saw some police cruisers with their lights on the highway and some cars pulled over.
“I went back in the house and heard about six gunshots in a row.”
‘Then it was just chaos’
Hutchinson turned to see a police officer with his gun drawn standing over someone lying on the ground, he said.
“Then it was just chaos,” he said.
Several officers had their guns drawn and somebody appeared to be performing CPR, he said.
He lost sight of what was happening as more police vehicles arrived.
Northbound and southbound traffic on the QEII was diverted at Highway 2A. Southbound traffic was being diverted at Highway 39, while traffic going north was being diverted at Glen Park Road.
The Alberta Serious Incident Response Team, which investigates cases involving Alberta police that result in serious injury or death, or serious allegations of police misconduct, is looking into the shooting.