One of the two RCMP officers seriously injured in a shooting inside a casino outside of Edmonton has been released from hospital.
The officers, Aux. Const. Derek Walter Bond and Const. David Matthew Wynn, were shot around 3 a.m. MT Saturday while confronting a suspect about a stolen vehicle found near the casino in St. Albert, Alta. The shooter, who fled the scene, was found dead later Saturday.
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Bond, 49, was taken to hospital with serious injuries, but was released Saturday night. Wynn, 42, remains in "very grave" condition, said RCMP Assistant Commissioner Marlin Degrand.
"Is his survival at stake? Absolutely," Degrand said. “[He is] certainly in a life-threatening state right now."
He did not go into further details on the officers’ injuries, citing the ongoing investigation.
Degrand said officers tracked the suspect to an unoccupied rural home east of St. Albert after the stolen car had been found in the area. He said that officers secured the scene and then entered the home to find the suspect dead.
Police have tentatively identified the suspect and believe he was known to police, but did not release his name.
"At no time during these efforts to arrest the suspect at that residence did officers speak to the suspect or fire their weapons," Degrand said.
No other suspects are being sought in the shooting and there is "is no longer any public safety threat related to this incident."
Alberta’s Serious Incident Response Team, which investigated police-related deaths, will be involved in the investigation.
Officer was not carrying firearm
As an auxiliary constable, Bond did not carry a firearm, although he did have pepper spray and a baton.
Auxiliary constables often do ride-alongs with other RCMP members, Degrand said, and are involved in community policing.
The suspect fired two shots in the casino, police said. It does not appear that Wynn, the other injured officer, returned fire.
Degrand also declined to say what type of gun the suspect used.
Police are going through the casino’s security footage. Degrand could not say how many people may have witnessed the shooting.
Neighbours said the home the suspect was found in is owned by a couple in their 70's. It isn't known if the man knew the homeowners, although police have said the house was empty at the time and it appears the suspect forced his way inside.
Ted Elkins, who lives nearby, said police had the neighbourhood locked down after surrounding the home. Neighbours were warned to stay inside.
"Pretty stressful, pretty close to home. You see it on the TV, but you don’t get the full grasp until it is right there."
'Real and present dangers'
Alberta Justice Minister Jonathan Denis says his thoughts and prayers are with the injured officers and their families.
"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," he said in a statement.
St. Albert Mayor Nolan Crouse said the community is shocked by the shooting.
members, for their family. That’s the first feeling,” he said.
“I think it is a surprise, but it would be a surprise to any community.”
Crouse said the city has not had previous safety concerns about the casino.
The shootings prompted public messages of support from Prime Minister Stephen Harper and other federal and provincial politicians.
"I commend the RCMP and all law enforcement agencies for their commitment to keeping our communities safe around the clock," Alberta Premier Jim Prentice wrote in a statement Saturday evening.
"Each and every day courageous men and women put themselves at risk to protect our communities, our province, and our country, and I stand with them."
A social media campaign under the hashtag #LightsOnForStAlbert has encouraged people living in the city to leave their porch lights on Saturday night to mark the shooting.
Degrand said the support has been helpful as they investigate the shooting
“I do wish … to express a great deal of appreciation for the outpouring of support that we have received today from Albertans, Canadians and, actually, people around the world," he said.
It means a great deal to myself and to our officers.”
RCMP are asking anyone with information to call Crime Stoppers.
Suspect wanted in shooting of 2 RCMP officers has been located. We would like to thank the public for their support & assistance. #StAlbert— RCMP Alberta (@RCMPAlberta) January 17, 2015