Man who pointed rifle at public, police at busy Edmonton intersection goes to prison

An Edmonton man who "terrified the entire city" was sentenced Thursday to 4½ years in prison.

‘We now know he was trying to get police to kill him,’ judge says

Glenn Justin Ironchild wields rifle at intersection of 50th Street and 137th Avenue. (Facebook)

An Edmonton man who "terrified the entire city" was sentenced Thursday to 4½ years in prison.

With credit for time already served, Glenn Ironchild faces another 35 months behind bars.

On March 13, 2017, Ironchild took a rifle to a busy intersection in north Edmonton and pointed it at motorists and police.

"This incident took a few minutes but terrified the entire city," provincial court judge Janet Dixon said at a sentencing hearing. "These people didn't know if the gun was loaded or if Mr. Ironchild intended to pull the trigger.

"We now know he was trying to get police to kill him."

An Edmonton Police Service constable fired three shots at Ironchild. The last round struck the 37-year-old in the chest.

That Ironchild had two weapons and boasted about them on social media was an aggravating factor, Dixon said. At the time, he was under a court order that banned him from possessing a gun for 10 years.

Ironchild posed with the rifle in a video he posted on his Facebook page 40 minutes before he headed to the intersection.

Glenn Justin Ironchild, also known by the nickname “Occo,” posted a Facebook video before he took a loaded rifle to a busy intersection. Bystanders called the police when they saw Ironchild waving the rifle in the air. He was shot by the police after he pointed the weapon at them. 0:23

Dixon prohibited Ironchild from having any weapon for the rest of this life. 

In court Wednesday, Ironchild apologized to his family, the public and police. The judge said she's convinced his remorse is genuine and is encouraged by his effort to rehabilitate himself.

Ironchild's immediate family traveled from southern Alberta and Saskatchewan for the sentencing.

"I'm struck by the obvious strength in this family," Dixon said Thursday. "There is a resilience in this family that gives me comfort."

After the judge left the courtroom, the sheriff allowed family members to hug Ironchild and say goodbye.

His mother, Robin Pelletier, declined a recorded interview, but told CBC News she was satisfied the sentence was fair, and was sure her son "has learned a lot from this."