The Alberta Serious Incident Response Team (ASIRT) says its investigation into Friday’s spree of violence if St. Paul, Alta. is ongoing.
Three RCMP officers were wounded in a downtown shooting that killed a gunman, who police identified as John Carlos Quadros, 55, of St. Paul.
Father Gilbert Dasna, an associate pastor of the St. Paul Cathedral parish, was found dead alone in the rectory. He had been shot in the chest.
RCMP have yet to link Dasna’s death with the downtown shooting. Autopsies on the two men aren’t scheduled to take place until Tuesday.
Speaking Monday, Clifton Purvis, the executive director of ASIRT, extended his sympathies to the friends and family of the suspect, the RCMP officers involved and the community of St. Paul as a whole.
“During the course of this ongoing incident – and it occurred over a period of approximately 30 minutes – there was multiple scenes within a very small area of St. Paul, including the scene of a serious collision,” he said.
“It’s affected their community … [but] they should have confidence that our goal here is to conduct an independent investigation into that incident and ensure that we uncover the truth. That’s our commitment to them.”
RCMP investigation continues
“Our investigation into all of the actions of all the members involved in ongoing at this time,” said Purvis.
As a first step, ASIRT will be looking into whether the actions of the RCMP officers involved resulted in death or injury to anyone involved. At that point, ASIRT members will look into whether the RCMP actions were justified.
“Our job isn’t to say are they perfect,” Purvis cautioned. “But our job is to determine whether or not they committed any criminal offenses.”
While ASIRT conducts their inquiry, RCMP in St. Paul are in the midst of their own independent criminal investigation into the incident.
RCMP Commanding Officer Marianne Ryan also expressed her sympathy to the community of St. Paul on Monday.
“Specifically, I want to extend my sympathies to the family and friends of Gilbert Dasna,” she said.
Ryan would not comment on the investigation into Dasna’s death, which was declared a homicide on the weekend.
Purvis said the two agencies were cooperating fully with each to ensure both investigations go smoothly.
Both Purvis and Ryan were unable to provide any further details on the two deaths, but said more will be known once the autopsy is completed on Tuesday.
Officer recovering in hospital
Ryan said she was proud of the RCMP officers’ response in St. Paul, saying that their training helped prevent further deaths.
“The officers committed themselves to protecting the citizens of St. Paul,” she said. “In this violent and dangerous incident, we were very lucky.”
Two of the injured officers, both male, have since been released from hospital. The third injured officer was transferred to Edmonton where she currently remains with serious but non-life threatening injuries after being pinned in her vehicle after Quadros rammed into it with his truck.
Ryan said the officer had surgery on both feet and doctors had to put in several pins.
“Her feet were compacted by the crush of the vehicle,” said Ryan. “She actually told me that when she was extricated from the vehicle, she felt like her toes were touching her shins.”
Ryan said the officer is looking forward to her rehabilitation and is anxious to return to work.
Spike in ASIRT investigations
Each year, ASIRT is involved in 40 to 45 investigations into officer-related incidents across the province.
Asked whether the team was currently working at capacity between the incident in St. Paul and officer-involved shooting in Edmonton, Purvis confirmed it is a heavy load but said the team was up to it.
“We are definitely experiencing a spike in our calls for service and it is challenging, frankly, for us to respond to it but we will do our best,” he said.
“The public should be satisfied we will continue to offer the best investigation that the province can muster in relation to these critical incidents.”