The man killed after being rammed by a police SUV during a shootout with police Sunday night was a suspect in a murder last month, CBC News has confirmed.
Sources tell CBC that David Charles Sandaker, 24, was wanted on a second-degree murder warrant for the shooting of Michael Alan Hill in a west-end apartment in April.
Sandaker was killed while police tried to execute a warrant in Riverbend. A witness reported hearing around a dozen gunshots in the area, and say an unmarked SUV rammed Sandaker while he was climbing a fence.
“He was on the fence here and they car came here. Bam, hit him,” said Kyla McGowan, who watched the event from inside her home.
“And then they got out and started shooting him. He fell onto the ground.”
At least three officers exchanged gunfire with Sandaker. One of them was struck in the leg with a bullet and was hospitalized. Police say the officer is expected to recover.
McGowan says once Sandaker was on the ground, the officers moved in to handcuff him, but she says he already appeared to be dead.
McGowan questioned whether it was safe to trade gunfire in a residential area. She says she was frightened for her young son and nephew, who were in the house with her.
“My brother was like ‘hit the floor’, so I did,” she said
“It was just so close and it just didn’t need to happen that way, I guess.”
Police actions will be examined
Alberta’s Serious Incident Response Team (ASIRT), which investigates police shootings in the province, is now involved in the case.
“In this case, we will be looking at the actions of the members of the Edmonton Police Service in relation to the arrest and we will determine whether or not they committed any criminal offenses,” said Clifton Purvis, ASIRT’s executive director.
Purvis said ASIRT had members on the scene almost immediately. He said four EPS officers were “directly involved” in the incident, and that eight others have been identified as witnesses.
Investigators have also started interviewing other witnesses and are asking anyone who may have seen the shooting to contact ASIRT.
Purvis said the team will also look into the events leading up to the shootout, but did not clarify what those events were.
An autopsy is scheduled for Wednesday.