Blue Line

Police watchdog says Calgary officers not at fault for shooting woman in hotel

June 30, 2023  By The Canadian Press

June 30, 2023, Calgary, Alta. – Police officers who shot at a woman 13 times after she pointed a fake gun at them should not be charged, Alberta’s police watchdog said in a report Friday.

The Alberta Serious Incident Response Team concluded two Calgary officers were acting in self-defence when they shot the woman in a hotel just outside the downtown core.

“Reliance on using their firearms to incapacitate this threat was reasonably necessary,” wrote ASIRT executive director Michael Ewenson, adding the officers were “lawfully placed and acting properly in the execution of their duties.”

In March 2021, two officers responded to an emergency call from a woman who was threatening to kill herself, saying she had a gun.

The woman stepped out of a hotel room empty-handed to look at the officers who were standing in a stairwell below. She then went back inside.

The report said the woman reappeared with a replica BB handgun a few moments later, pointing it at the officers.

A click that sounded like a misfire was then heard.

“A total of 13 rounds were fired between the two officers,” the report said. The woman died in the hotel room. An autopsy determined five of the bullets hit her.

A toxicology report showed the woman had traces of cocaine, meth and alcohol in her blood.

The report said the medical examiner found the woman “exhibited suicidal intent” in her initial call to 911 and was later behaving in a way “that suggests she had a desire for officers to end her life.”

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