Man's death in shootout with RCMP brings relief to family of slain Calgary woman

The family of a Calgary woman killed last weekend is expressing relief following the death of the man sources say was wanted in her murder.

Funeral for Nadia El-Dib, 22, planned for Sunday

The family of a woman who was found deceased outside a Marlborough Park home in Calgary's northeast last weekend says she was a shining light to all who knew her. (Submitted by Racha El-Dib)

The family of a 22-year-old Calgary woman killed last weekend is expressing relief following the death of the man sources say was wanted in her murder.

Adam Bettahar, 21, was in a relationship with Nadia El-Dib. Her body was found outside a Marlborough Park home in Calgary's northeast on Sunday.

Bettahar died Thursday evening in a shootout with RCMP 100 kilometres west of Edmonton, according to sources.

​The exchange of gunfire also sent RCMP Sgt. Brian Topham to hospital with minor injuries.

RCMP Sgt. Brian Topham, pictured here in a 2012 file photo, was injured in the altercation. (CBC)

Bettahar had been wanted for first-degree murder in El-Dib's death.

Her family told CBC News they are glad he is "no longer out there."

"We're no longer wondering what's going on," said Racha El-Dib, the victim's sister. "I feel like she can finally be at peace, and her name and her memory are at peace without him being here anymore.… We're at peace because he's caught."

Racha said her family had wanted Bettahar to face trial, so they could learn more answers, but she's glad they won't have to go through the long process of court hearings. 

"I think this is in a weird way … more peaceful for my family," she said "It's kind of good that it happened so quickly. I feel like if it had dragged on it would have been even harder." 

"But it's going to also help us in the healing process of not having to think about what happened, and we've already moved past that and we're just going to focus more on the fact that she's not with us anymore and properly mourn her."

Racha said there were four girls in her family, and all four lived at home with their parents in Calgary.

Nadia, she said, was in her first year of a legal assistant program at the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology, and had plans to one day pursue a law degree.

"We want her memory to be a positive."

Outpouring of community support

She said her family has been helped through their grief by support they've received from their community and from police. 

"We didn't think we'd receive this much [support] and that's kind of what's helping us go through this. The night that we got home we were just broken, but people coming into our lives and being here for us is what's made this process so much easier," she said.

The family is planning to hold a funeral for Nadia on Sunday, and a candlelight vigil sometime in the near future. 

Premier Rachel Notley sent out a series of tweets Friday, offering her condolences to El-Dib's family and thanking the police officers involved in the shootout.

"My thoughts are with the communities close by, and with the officer who was injured," Notley said.

The Alberta Serious Incident Response Team is investigating. The provincial watchdog investigates whenever an interaction with police leads to death or serious injury. 

RCMP said the shooting had followed a police chase, with officers from several districts in pursuit between Evansburg and Entwistle. 

The driver managed to get around tire spikes until Nojack, about 35 kilometres west of where the chase had begun. 

Rory Collins filmed a video of the aftermath after a police pursuit between Evansburg and Entwistle in Alberta led to a shootout. (Screengrab)

One witness CBC spoke to likened the confrontation that followed to a war zone, saying he heard what he thought was between 30 and 40 shots fired as the suspect — who appeared to have a rifle in his hands — used his own vehicle for cover.

The suspect died at the scene and an air ambulance lifted the injured officer to hospital.

An autopsy is scheduled for Tuesday morning, ASIRT said in a release.

RCMP said Friday that Topham, the Evansburg detachment's commander, remains in hospital but is recovering well and is in good spirits. 

With a file from The Canadian Press