The Alberta Serious Incident Response Team (ASIRT) has finished an investigation involving a Fort Saskatchewan officer.
 
On September 22, 2017, the Redwater RCMP notified surrounding areas to be on the lookout for a vehicle that had been involved in two armed robberies and a vehicle pursuit. One of the robberies resulted in a gunshot injury to the victim.
 
A Fort Saskatchewan RCMP officer was driving home after his shift when he spotted a vehicle travelling in the ditch with no headlights or taillights on, just outside of Fort Saskatchewan. Upon realizing the vehicle matched the suspect vehicle's description, the officer reported the information to RCMP, Edmonton Police Service (EPS) and followed it.
 
The suspect vehicle was intercepted by EPS patrol units but failed to stop. Following a lengthy pursuit, the vehicle was abandoned in a rural area and the occupants fled on foot.
 
Believing the suspects may attempt to steal another vehicle to escape, a perimeter was established by the RCMP and EPS.
 
The Fort Sask officer joined another RCMP officer in a fully marked police vehicle. The officers spotted an unidentified truck driving in the area where the suspect vehicle had been abandoned and decided to stop the truck and identify the driver.
 
Two marked RCMP vehicles were positioned to stop the unidentified truck at the intersection of Township Road 472 and Range Road 242. As two officers approached the truck to speak with the driver and lone occupant, the Fort Sask officer positioned himself behind the deployed spike belt with his firearm drawn at low-ready.
 
After speaking to the driver, the two officers became suspicious and directed the driver to exit the vehicle. Instead, the driver attempted to flee, accelerating quickly towards the Fort Sask officer positioned behind the spike belt. The officer fired his service pistol at the vehicle and simultaneously jumped out of the vehicle’s path. Several rounds struck the vehicle but did not enter into the passenger cab and no one was injured.
 
Having passed over the spike belt, the tires of the truck deflated and the vehicle was stopped a short distance away. The driver was arrested without further incident. It was later determined the truck had been stolen.
 
ASIRT was instructed to investigate the officer's actions and determined, with potentially armed and dangerous individuals at large, the situation was high-risk. When the driver put the truck in motion in the direction of the officer, the officer was lawfully entitled to act in self-defense. The officer also did not continue to use force once the threat had ceased.

After reviewing the investigation, ASIRT announced there are no reasonable grounds to believe the officer committed any Criminal Code offenses, as the force used in response to the escape attempt was reasonable given the circumstances.

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