Two Edmonton police officers gunned down in the line of duty in March have been cleared of any wrongdoing during the call that ended in their deaths.
The Alberta Serious Incident Response Team has concluded its review of the circumstances surrounding the shooting deaths of Const. Travis Jordan and Const. Brett Ryan outside a northwest Edmonton apartment on March 16.
ASIRT found that Jordan and Ryan acted lawfully and never engaged in any use of force during an encounter that the Edmonton police have characterized as an ambush.
“Based on ASIRT’s review, the officers were clearly lawfully placed in responding to a call for assistance from a member of the public,” ASIRT said.
“The officers did not engage in any use of force, nor did they engage in any action whatsoever that contributed to the harm suffered by the civilians.”
The officers, who were responding to a reported family dispute, were gunned down as they knocked on the door.
The shooter, a 16-year-old, also shot his mother before turning the gun on himself.
The teenager died. His 55-year-old mother was seriously injured.
ASIRT said it was directed to perform a review of the Edmonton Police Service investigation into the circumstances that led to the deaths and injury.
A spokesperson for ASIRT said reviews are generally not shared with the public and have a limited scope. However, given that ASIRT was previously announced as the body conducting the review, the agency wanted to share its findings with the public.
“The specific focus of the ASIRT review is narrow, and only concerns use of force and whether any actions of the police officers led to the harm to the civilians,” ASIRT said.
The agency said it completed its investigation with the full co-operation from police and reviewed all relevant evidence, including witness statements, physical evidence from the scene, autopsy reports, police radio transmissions and the firearms of both officers and the shooter.
“While such co-operation is both necessary and required for a proper review, that such co-operation came from people who were grieving the very recent loss of their colleagues bears mentioning.”
Both men were declared dead in hospital after being shot and killed in what police called an “ambush” by the teen suspect.
The teen and his mother then reportedly struggled over the gun before the boy fatally shot himself.
The suspect had no prior criminal record, but police had been called to the home before, including for a previous mental-health complaint, police said.
The 16-year-old is also believed to be responsible for shooting a Pizza Hut employee four days earlier.
On March 12, a 55-year-old man working at a Pizza Hut near the apartment complex was left with serious injuries after being shot by an assailant.
Police said a bullet casing from the restaurant scene was a forensic match to the firearm recovered at the scene of the officers’ fatal shootings.