RCMP shooting suspect a 'quiet' photographer
Search underway for Sawyer Clarke Robison, 27
A professional photographer described by acquaintances and neighbours as quiet and non-violent is now the focus of an Alberta RCMP search in connection with a shootout that wounded two officers on Tuesday.
Sawyer Clarke Robison, 27, who the RCMP have said is armed and dangerous, was reportedly seen leaving a residence near Killam, Alta., where two RCMP officers were shot and wounded on Tuesday.
A second man was found dead inside the house. Sources have identified him as Robison's uncle, Brad Clarke.
Neighbour Vern Snethun said Robison lived with Clarke on the mixed grain and cattle farm with other family members. Snethun said Robison's father is very upset and that both men "wouldn't hurt a flea."
"They lived their own life, they didn't bother anybody and they didn't range too far away from home and just minded their own business. Were good guys," Snethun said.
People who know Robison said he is a quiet young man who was not prone to violence. He is a photographer who runs his own business.
"He's an excellent guy," said a young Killam woman who declined to give her name. "This is completely out of left field."
The two officers were wounded during an exchange of gunfire at the property 10 kilometres southeast of Killam around 2 p.m Tuesday.
The two, who are recovering in Edmonton hospitals with non-life-threatening wounds, have been identified as Const. Sheldon Shah and Const. Sidney Gaudette of the Killam detachment.
Shah and Gaudette were at the house with two other officers to execute a search warrant for a .45-calibre handgun, which police believe may be connected to a domestic incident in the area.
Robison is described as having a fit appearance, six-foot-two and about 200 pounds, with brown hair and brown eyes.
He is likely driving a black 2000 Chevrolet Silverado with Alberta licence plate number UZE 545.
The RCMP consider Robison a person of interest in the shootings, and believe he could be armed and dangerous, said Sgt. Patrick Webb.
"It would be in Robison's best interests to call the nearest RCMP detachment as soon as possible to make arrangements to speak with the investigators," said Webb.
Police don't believe he's a threat to the public.
"We have nothing to indicate this individual is any threat to any member of the community in general," he said. "He's more of a threat to RCMP members … to any authority figure or law enforcement."
Police were not familiar with Robison prior to the shooting, he said.
A former classmate, Dan Ceniuk, urged Robison to turn himself in to police.
"It's not going to end well if you don't," he said. "Like, you're hurting so many people like your family and your friends and stuff."
Police recovered several weapons in the home and continue to search residences and outbuildings on the property.
The investigations into the shooting will examine whether proper protocol was followed and appropriate risk assessments made, said Webb.
He doesn't expect the relative inexperience of the wounded officers — one has five years RCMP experience, the second has two — will be considered a factor.
"As in so many of the RCMP detachments right now we have a lot of junior service members, but at the same time you have to remember there were four members there; one was the sergeant — he's very experienced," he said.
The Alberta Serious Incident Response Team, a civilian agency that probes incidents involving police that cause serious injury or death, and the RCMP will be conducting investigations.