Police officer who shot Anthony Heffernan in Calgary motel may face murder charge
ASIRT recommended murder charge after 27-year-old shot by police at Super 8, victim's brother says
Alberta's police watchdog is "pressing hard" for murder charges against a Calgary police officer who killed a young man causing a disturbance in a motel room in 2015, the victim's brother says.
The same officer was one of three to fatally shoot another man in a wheelchair who engaged in a shootout with police in January 2016.
Anthony Heffernan, 27, died in March 2015 after police forcibly entered the Super 8 motel room where he was staying.
Police described him as agitated and in "medical distress" and said they were confronted with a "high-risk situation" once inside.
He was shot four times — including three to the head, according to family.
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On Thursday, Anthony's brother Grant Heffernan told CBC News that the Alberta Serious Incident Response Team (ASIRT) has told his family it has recommended murder charges.
"ASIRT is pressing hard," he said.
He said the news is helping his family recover.
"I feel a little better about it," Grant Heffernan said. "We were very skeptical about ASIRT and any officer being charged."
Heffernan says his family talks weekly with ASIRT and will know by May 1 whether the Crown decides to lay charges.
"It's officially out of their hands now."
He says a recent case in Toronto where a police officer was found guilty of attempted murder, gives the family hope.
"This was groundbreaking for us to hear. I think it is going to help our case," Heffernan said.
"We give the police a lot of rights to protect us and to serve us … but they have to be held accountable."
Police declined to comment on the ASIRT investigation but said no homicide charges have ever been laid against a Calgary police officer.
ASIRT has not responded to requests for comment.
With files from Kate Adach