OTTAWA — Two police officers were shot dead while responding to a domestic call early Thursday in Edmonton in Canada’s western Alberta province, officials said.
The two constables showed up at an apartment in the city’s Inglewood neighbourhood just before 1am local time after receiving an emergency call about a “family dispute,” when they were shot by a man at the address, Edmonton police chief Dale McFee told a news conference.
“At this time, all indications are they did not have a chance to discharge their firearms,” he said.
“These (officers) were doing their job. This is unthinkable. It’s not imaginable. It’s horrific. It’s a tragedy,” he said. “We’re all grieving.”
Fellow officers arrived soon after the shooting and, not waiting for an ambulance, rushed their fallen comrades, aged 30 and 35, to a hospital where they were pronounced dead.
The suspected shooter was found dead of what the chief described as an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound, while a female relative who’d called police was taken to a hospital with life-threatening injuries and stabilised.
“We’re all devastated,” Edmonton Mayor Amarjeet Sohi said, describing the officers’ killings as an “unthinkable tragedy.”
“Today is a very difficult and sad day,” he said. “Every day, families of police officers send their loved ones off to duty to work and hope they return home safely. This did not happen today.”
Canada has seen a series of unprecedented violent killings in recent years, some involving mass stabbings or the use of vehicles as weapons against pedestrians, though shootings remain much rarer than in the United States.
Television images from Edmonton on Thursday showed a massive police deployment in the residential neighbourhood in the north central part of the city.
“Every day, police officers put themselves in harm’s way to keep people safe,” Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said in a Twitter message.
“The news that two @EdmontonPolice officers have been killed in the line of duty reminds us of that reality,” he said. — AFP