Calgary

Victim of this year's 9th police shooting had lengthy criminal history

The victim of Calgary's 9th police shooting of 2016 was Terrence Weinmeyer, 49, a "prolific car thief" who had a lengthy criminal history, CBC News has learned.

Terrence Weinmeyer, 49, was out on bail on vehicle theft charges

Terrence Weinmeyer, 49, was killed by police on Tuesday roughly two weeks after he was released on bail pending trial for charges related to the theft of two vehicles. (Crime Stoppers)

The man killed by Calgary police Tuesday was released on bail two weeks ago, after being charged with two counts of possessing stolen vehicles, CBC News has learned.

Terrence Weinmeyer, 49, was a "prolific car thief" who had a lengthy criminal history, including convictions for drug-related offences, resisting arrest, possessing stolen vehicles, theft and assault.

He was shot on Tuesday afternoon by two officers after he rammed their vehicle while driving a stolen pickup truck, police say.

It's the ninth officer-involved shooting in Calgary in 2016. Four have been fatal.

"He was a very good man with a big heart," Weinmeyer's brother, who did not give his name, told CBC News. "He was a good father."

Family members who gathered at Weinmeyer's parents' home were too upset to speak at length about their loss.

"This is an unfortunate and shocking situation," said Weinmeyer's former lawyer Tonii Roulston. "Mr. Weinmeyer had been very respectful in my interactions with him."

ASIRT has asked Calgary police not to release any details related to the incident. (CBC)

The Alberta Serious Incident Response Team (ASIRT), tasked with investigating police shootings, said officers had observed a man driving a stolen blue Dodge pickup that he drove into a parking lot at a mall located on Home Road and 16th Avenue N.W.

According to ASIRT, the man left the vehicle and entered a business. As officers prepared to box in the truck, he returned and entered the vehicle. 

"The man put the stolen vehicle into motion ramming two police vehicles," said a news release. "During their attempts to contain the man and the vehicle, two officers fired their service weapons."

High risk

ASIRT did not publicly name Weinmeyer.

Weinmeyer, who was shot shortly after 4 p.m., was taken out of the vehicle and given emergency medical treatment by officers until EMS crews arrived, according to the release. 

ASIRT said a woman was also in the car, and was taken into custody uninjured. 

Police have called Weinmeyer a "prolific car thief" in the past, and said he was a high risk to himself, police and the public. He has been known to flee police and carry weapons.

When he was released two weeks ago, Weinmeyer was ordered not to be in a motor vehicle without its registered owner. He was due back in court in three weeks.

ASIRT had asked Calgary police to withhold specific details of the incident until it can interview witnesses. 

"From time to time there may be a disagreement from CPS needs compared to our needs," said ASIRT executive director Susan Hughson on Wednesday.

ASIRT Executive Director Susan Hughson says the agency is operating 'at capacity' with 74 files currently on the go. (Meghan Grant/CBC)

Despite that, Supt. James Hardy linked the incident to drugs and stolen vehicles during a press conference on Tuesday night.

"As you are well aware, in what seems to be a nightly occurrence, the high frequency of crimes like stolen vehicles gives rise to serious officer and public safety concerns," said Hardy.

'Trickier' to prioritize files

Hardy said much of the crime in Calgary is being "fuelled by the opiate issue," specifically fentanyl. 

No officers were injured. 

ASIRT is asking for anyone who witnessed or recorded the incident to contact them at 403-592-4306.

With nine officer-involved shootings in Calgary in 2016, plus 65 other ongoing investigations, ASIRT is working "at capacity," according to Hughson.

"It's trickier to decide which files get which priority," said Hughson.

Hughson 'extremely disturbed' about dropped charges

Last year, ASIRT had 78 files — a 100 percent increase from the average between 2008 to 2013. This year the investigative body is sitting at 74 files.

Cases where a person survives an officer-involved shooting and faces charges will be prioritized so that ASIRT can get the results of its investigation to Crown prosecutors to keep the file moving through the court system.

Several weeks ago, all charges were dropped against Jason Harron, who was charged after he was shot and blinded by police in 2013.

Hughson said she was not notified charges would be stayed, and was "extremely disturbed" to learn of the news.

"If ASIRT contributed to those charges being stayed, we want to know about it."

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