By Erika Mathieu
Sunny South News
Coaldale RCMP were called out to Picture Butte to deal with a “police incident” on Feb. 24 which required police presence for nearly 10 hours. In a media release issued at 6 p.m. on Thursday evening, RCMP were advising the public of an ongoing incident on 528 Highway Avenue between 5th and 6th Street in Picture Butte. At the time of the initial release, the RCMP reported the situation to be “contained”, but requested the public refrain from posting photos of videos on social media as the situation remained ongoing. At the time of the initial media release, “the situation was contained” and the incident posed, “no danger to the public.” Media relations officer Corporal Tony Savinkoff said, “I can tell you that it ended a little after 3 a.m.,” on Friday, Feb. 25, and added as of 9:20 a.m. that morning, “RCMP remain on site.” Further details were released later that day.
A resident of Picture Butte, Mandy Marie said prolonged and extensive police presence isn’t typical of the area. “I grew up in a really rough neighbourhood when I was younger and to see it in Picture Butte is a little bit worry-some,” she said.
On Feb. 25, 2022, RCMP released additional information that revealed the Coaldale RCMP, “attended a residence on 528 Highway Ave. in order to effect an arrest warrant.” According to the same report, once RCMP arrived, an individual holding a weapon confronted police resulting in a confrontation during which, “the officer discharged their service weapon. The suspect then retreated into the residence.”
Following this, officers contained the area and dispatched the RCMP Emergency Response Team. After several hours, the suspect in question surrendered to the police after exiting the residence, without further incident. RCMP said the suspect was injured during this time, and EMS facilitated the man’s transport to hospital. RCMP reported the man’s injuries were not life-threatening, and no RCMP members were injured during the incident.
Alberta Serious Incident Response Team (ASIRT) was called to investigate the circumstances surrounding the officer involved in the shooting. In response to ASIRT’s investigation RCMP issued a statement which said, “The Alberta RCMP believes in processes that seek the facts and it’s important that processes taken to assess the actions of all those involved, including the police, are fair, transparent, and defendable. This is why, as soon as we became aware of this incident, we immediately notified the Director of Law Enforcement and initiated our internal review process. The Alberta Serious Incident Response Team (ASIRT) has been directed to investigate the circumstances surrounding the actions of the police during this investigation.”
The release said the Alberta RCMP has an internal review process which will collect information on everything that took place during this incident, and concluded, “The Alberta RCMP is, of course, fully cooperating with ASIRT and will not be commenting further on this incident.” This was the third RCMP-involved shooting in Alberta last week.