Eyewitness watches Calgary police officer hit the ground after shots fired

A man who barricaded himself in a garage after shooting a Calgary police officer is dead, police say, and a neighbour tells CBC News she saw the officer hit the ground after shots were fired Tuesday afternoon.

Suspect is dead, wounded officer Jordan Forget in stable condition

Police attend the scene in the Abbeydale community of northeast Calgary where an officer was shot March 27. (Justin Pennell/CBC)

A man who barricaded himself in a garage after shooting a Calgary police officer is dead, police say, and a neighbour tells CBC News she saw the officer hit the ground after shots were fired Tuesday afternoon.

The officer is in stable condition surrounded by family at Foothills Medical Centre, police say. 

CBC News has learned he is Const. Jordan Forget, a five-year member of the Calgary Police Service. Sources say he suffered multiple injuries. 

The events leading up to the shooting and the standoff began early Tuesday morning with a convenience store robbery near Abbeydale — a suburban neighbourhood in the city's northeast outskirts — according to Chief Roger Chaffin. 

"Following the robbery, brandishing a firearm, the suspect allegedly attempted to carjack a woman outside a home in the 100 block of Abingdon Way N.E.," Chaffin said at a late afternoon news conference.

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'Suspect began firing shots'

He said the man then attempted to break into a home elsewhere on the street. Officers found him between two houses near a garage, Chaffin said.

"As officers entered the backyard the suspect began firing shots at the officers. It is our understanding that members of our service returned fire."

The man was contained in a garage. The garage caught fire as the standoff played out and became fully engulfed, Chaffin said.

"Once the fire was extinguished one man was located deceased inside the garage."

There are no other suspects in the shooting at this time. 

Police did not say what might have started the fire. 

'I just see the officer falling down to the ground'

A resident in the area — who asked that CBC News not use her name — saw the officer fall after he was shot. She had just met him, when she reported the attempted theft.

She said she was watching from her home and saw two police officers, a man and a woman, standing near a truck and looking at a house "where the guy was hiding." 

"There was one police officer lady and the other one who got shot," she said by phone. 

"Suddenly I hear one, two, three, four shots. I run to the window and I just see the officer falling down to the ground and the other lady, she's calling for help."

Firefighters douse the garage that caught fire during a standoff with police in Abbeydale on Tuesday. (Justin Pennell/CBC)

Hid in basement

She said someone had tried to steal her truck prior to the standoff and the officer who filed her report was the same officer who was shot. 

"He gave me the report and he said 'Please just shut the door and stay safe,'" she recalled. "So I was so sorry. I was crying, actually, when I saw him falling down."

Jason Kolstad, who also lives in the area, said the situation was "pretty intense" and that he and his family hid in their basement throughout the standoff. 

"My wife was scared out of her mind. I was 'OK, just trying to keep it together for my little boy,'" he said. 

"We brought his new toys down and we started playing with them. I made him a little man cave, so we were down there in the tiny little alcove."

Rare incident

Meanwhile, Chaffin says there has not been an incident like this in Calgary in about 25 years. 

"It is very rare for the city," he said.

But it illuminates, in general, what officers face increasingly with more drugs and firearms on the streets, he said. 

"These things happen to everybody. They happen to the community, they happen to our membership," Chaffin said.

"To say I am proud of our members and grateful that our officer is recovering, is an understatement."

He said as the Alberta Serious Incident Response Team is now investigating, identification of the man is likely in coming days. The provincial watchdog investigates whenever an interaction with police leads to death or serious injury. 

The chief added that the many social media posts during the incident — attempting to locate the suspect — were not helpful. 

"There are times to broadcast things on social media, but there are times not to," he said. 

With files from CBC's Meghan Grant, Drew Anderson and David Bell