Police cleared of wrongdoing in arrest of fatal river valley stabbing suspect

Edmonton police officers who Tasered a 20-year-old man during the hunt for a suspect in a deadly stabbing in the river valley two years ago have been cleared of any wrongdoing.

The suspect was later charged with murder in the death of Christopher Fawcett

The deadly stabbing occured in the river valley near the Alfred H. Savage Centre. (City of Edmonton)

Edmonton police officers who Tasered a 20-year-old man during the hunt for a suspect in a deadly stabbing in the river valley in 2016 have been cleared of any wrongdoing.

In a statement Wednesday, the Alberta Serious Incident Response Team (ASIRT) said it has determined that officers used appropriate force on the man, who was later charged with second-degree murder.

Around 8:30 p.m. on Oct. 22, 2016, police were called to the scene in the area of Fox Drive and Fort Edmonton Park Road.

Police arrived and saw a shirtless man, who appeared agitated and possibly under the influence of drugs, wandering on Fox Drive, ASIRT said.
The Alberta Serious Incident Response Team began investigating the use of a stun gun on a man on Fox Drive near the Alfred H. Savage Centre where 19-year-old Christopher Fawcett was stabbed to death on Saturday, Oct. 22. (Google Maps)
The man tried to flee police and fell down a steep embankment into a wooded area.

With help from the Edmonton police helicopter, officers located the man. They used a police dog and a stun gun on the suspect to gain control of him.

Following the arrest, the man was taken to hospital where he was treated for a collapsed lung.

The accused also underwent a toxicology screening.

"The man was physically resisting officers, non-compliant with their commands and making continued efforts to flee," ASIRT executive director Susan Hughson said in the statement.

"The officers were permitted to use as much force as was reasonably necessary in the lawful execution of their duties.

"While the man's condition was serious, it was largely due to the man's ingestion of illicit substances. It's also difficult to exclude the man's initial fall off the embankment as the cause of his injury."

During a search of the crime scene, 19-year-old Christopher Fawcett was found dead near the Alfred H. Savage Centre, a warm-up and washroom facility.

The two men knew each other and had fought, according to police.

The suspect has also been charged with possession of a dangerous weapon, assaulting a peace officer and resisting arrest.

ASIRT investigates incidents involving police that resulted in serious injury or death, as well as allegations of police misconduct.