Shawn Rehn ID'd as suspect in shooting of RCMP officers Derek Bond, David Wynn
Alberta Serious Incident Response Team investigating suspect's death
The man identified as responsible for the shooting that seriously wounded two RCMP officers in St. Albert, Alta. Saturday had a "complex criminal history" involving firearms and violence, according to police.
The officers were confronting a suspect about a stolen vehicle found near the casino. Both were sent to hospital with serious injuries; Bond was released later in the day, while Wynn is not expected to survive.
"There is no way we could expect these officer would know the kind of threat that was walking around inside that casino," RCMP Commissioner Bob Paulson said Sunday evening.
Officers tracked the suspect to a nearby rural home. When they entered the house, they found him dead. The RCMP said they did not speak to the man or fire their weapons.
Rehn's Facebook page lists him as former pipe fitter who had previously studied at the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology in Edmonton.
Lifetime ban from firearms, RCMP say
Paulson said Rehn has had several run-ins with police in the past.
CBC News found two instances of Rehn being charged with crimes. In 2003, police arrested two men and seized a number of firearms after a vehicle was stolen and abandoned in Edmonton. Rehn was charged with weapons offences, break-and-enter, and possessing stolen property.
He was also charged in robbery, assault with a weapon and forcible confinement after being accused of entering a home, holding a man at gunpoint and then forcing him to drive to a bank to withdraw money.
CBC News has been unable to confirm whether Rehn was convicted on either set of charges.
Paulson said Rehn was supposed to be under a lifetime prohibition from owning firearms and said he faced additional charges at the time of the shooting. He has called for a review into why Rehn was not in custody and how he was able to get a weapon.
St. Albert 'supposed to be a safe place'
A small collection of letters and flowers sat in the snow in front of the St. Albert RCMP detachment Sunday morning, as the city tries to come to grips with the violence.
Resident Gay Ripley said the "family-oriented" community isn’t accustomed to that level of violence.
"I was devastated, it’s horrible. St. Albert is supposed to be such a safe place," she said.
"You thought that it wouldn’t happen here."
Saturday’s incident is just one of the latest shootings of RCMP officers in Alberta in the past decade.
Last year, a shoot-out in St. Paul wounded three RCMP officers and ended with two other people, including the gunman, dead.
Two officers were also wounded in a shooting in Killam while executing a search warrant in 2012. The 2005 ambush killing of four RCMP officers in Mayerthorpe made international headlines and raised questions over the agency's policies.
Many people living in the area wonder if those incidents, as well as a previous attack on officers in Moncton, N.B., signal a more dangerous working environment for police officers.
"It’s happening all over. It’s horrible. They don’t care anymore," said Eleanor Loitz, another area resident.
"They don’t care if it's a police officer or an ordinary person. And the police are the ones being targeted, because they are out there."
Alberta's Serious Incident Response Team, which investigates deaths involving police, is also part of the investigation.