Two RCMP officers fired multiple shots at a stolen front-end loader on Christmas Day, killing the suspect inside and ending a violent rampage in central Alberta.
Several hours of high drama began that morning when officers in Red Deer were called to investigate what police called “an incident of intimate partner violence, involving allegations of very serious criminal offences.”
The police soon identified a suspect who was “known” to Red Deer RCMP.and began a search.
At about 11:35 a.m., police found the man in a stolen vehicle in Sylvan Lake, about 25 kilometres west of Red Deer. When police tried to stop the vehicle, the man backed up, smashed into a marked police car and then drove away
The police cruiser was disabled.
Ninety minutes later, Red Deer RCMP patrolling an industrial area in the city’s north end spotted the stolen vehicle and the suspect.
The man climbed into a front-end loader, drove through a fence on to Highway 11A and into an adjoining lot. The loader smashed into several vehicles, causing extensive damage.
More RCMP officers were called to the scene, and they followed as the man drove the front-end loader away from the industrial area. In a field near Township Road 391 and Range Road 273, the loader smashed into a police car.
Police say the officer got out of his car and fired several shots. A second officer also fired multiple shots.
Slumped over seat
The front-end loader drove in circles around the field before officers got close enough to see the suspect slumped over in the seat.
The loader finally travelled about 800 metres across the field and stopped against a tree. Officers climbed in and shut the engine off.
The suspect, 37, who was bleeding and unresponsive, was pronounced dead at the scene. An autopsy will be performed in coming days. His identity has not been made public.
The Alberta Serious Incident Response Team is now investigating the police shooting.
ASIRT wants to talk to anyone who may have seen the confrontation in the area of Township Road 391 and Range Road 273 at about 1:15 p.m. on Christmas Day.