Alberta's police watchdog is "pressing hard" for murder charges against a Calgary police officer who killed a young man causing a disturbance in a motel room in 2015, the victim's brother says.

The same officer was one of three to fatally shoot another man in a wheelchair who engaged in a shootout with police in January 2016.

Anthony Heffernan, 27, died in March  2015 after police forcibly entered the Super 8 motel room where he was staying. 

Police described him as agitated and in "medical distress" and said they were confronted with a "high-risk situation" once inside. 

He was shot four times — including three to the head, according to family.

On Thursday, Anthony's brother Grant Heffernan told CBC News that the Alberta Serious Incident Response Team (ASIRT) has told his family it has recommended murder charges. 

"ASIRT is pressing hard," he said.

Grant Heffernan

Anthony Heffernan's brother Grant says a recent case in Toronto is giving the family hope. (CBC)

He said the news is helping his family recover.

"I feel a little better about it," Grant Heffernan said. "We were very skeptical about ASIRT and any officer being charged."

Heffernan says his family talks weekly with ASIRT and will know by May 1 whether the Crown decides to lay charges.

"It's officially out of their hands now."

He says a recent case in Toronto where a police officer was found guilty of attempted murder, gives the family hope.

Anthony Heffernan

Anthony Heffernan, at right, stands with his family. He was the youngest of five children and was raised on an acreage in Saskatchewan. (Submitted by Heffernan family)

"This was groundbreaking for us to hear. I think it is going to help our case," Heffernan said.

"We give the police a lot of rights to protect us and to serve us … but they have to be held accountable."

Police declined to comment on the ASIRT investigation but said no homicide charges have ever been laid against a Calgary police officer.

ASIRT has not responded to requests for comment.

Suspicious death NE

Calgary police and EMS attend the scene of a fatal shooting at a motel in the 3000 block of Barlow Trail N.E. (CBC)

With files from Kate Adach