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UPDATE: Suspect in St. Albert RCMP shooting dead; wounded officers identified
By Caley Ramsay Global News
ST. ALBERT, Alta. — St. Albert RCMP have confirmed the suspect wanted in the shooting of two officers was found dead inside a home on a rural property on the east edge of St. Albert Saturday.
Assistant Commissioner Marlin Degrand said police tracked the man to the unoccupied house and contained the scene “for the purpose of arresting the suspect when it was deemed safe to do so.
“The suspect’s body was found when officers entered the residence in their efforts to locate him,” Degrand added. “At no time during these efforts to arrest the suspect at that residence, did officers speak with the suspect or fire their weapons.”
While they have “tentatively” identified the suspect, police said they will not be releasing his identity at this time.
The two members injured in the shooting have been identified as RCMP Constable David Wynn, 42, and Auxiliary Constable Derek Bond, 49.
Degrand said Wynn, who joined the RCMP in 2009, remains in grave condition. Bond, who has worked with the RCMP in a volunteer role since 2008, is in serious but stable condition. “We are very concerned for his survival,” Degrand said of Wynn.
The manhunt for the suspect began early Saturday morning, after the St. Albert RCMP members were shot during an altercation inside the Apex Casino in the city’s southeast. RCMP were initially called to a report of a stolen vehicle, around 3 a.m. Saturday.
Officers went inside the casino to search for the suspect when an altercation took place and Wynn and Bond were shot, Degrand said. The suspect then fled the scene.
The suspect, who was considered armed and dangerous, was described as a white male between 25 and 35 years old. He was wearing a two-toned blue striped jacket and jeans.
Armed officers tracked the suspect to a rural property southeast of the Sturgeon Valley Golf and Country Club. RCMP said the stolen vehicle was located in the area. Several roads in the area were blocked off by Mounties for several hours, but were reopened Saturday afternoon after the suspect was located.
Investigators also blocked access to the rural property in Sturgeon Heights where the man was found dead.
The suspect’s death is considered a “in-custody death,” Degrand said, because the police contained the scene where the man was eventually found dead. As a result, the Alberta Serious Incident Response Team will take over the investigation into the circumstances surrounding the man’s death.
Degrand also expressed his thanks for the overwhelming show of support RCMP have received.
“Our thoughts, of course, are with our injured officers and their loved ones and colleagues who are courageously pursuing this investigation,” said Degrand.
Saturday morning, Alberta Justice Minister Jonathan Denis extended his thoughts to the victims and their families.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with the injured officers and their families as they cope with this tragic event. This incident stands as yet another reminder to us all of the real and present dangers our police officers and peace officers face every single day as they work to keep our communities safe.”
St. Albert Mayor Nolan Crouse also extended his thoughts on behalf of the entire city council.
“Our prayers are with the two RCMP officers who were shot in the line of duty early this morning. The RCMP members and auxiliary officers protecting our community put their own safety at risk to ensure our own,” said Crouse.
“We condemn violence of any kind. Attacking those who protect our lives and property is an attack on all residents. We join all Albertans in extending our appreciation to all members for their ongoing service. I know they share our concern over the two injured officers and their well-being.”
St. Albert is a city of about 61,000 bordering Edmonton’s city limits to the northwest.
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