Calgary police shoot man after 'directed attack' on emergency crews

Police shot a man in downtown Calgary after an SUV hit a cyclist and then returned to target emergency crews.

2 suspects in custody, 1 with gunshot wounds, as police hunt for 3rd suspect

Bullet holes are seen in a vehicle in downtown Calgary. 0:43

After hitting a cyclist during rush hour in downtown Calgary on Tuesday, police say an SUV returned and rammed a police van, prompting an officer to shoot at the vehicle.

The shooting happened around 4:30 p.m. on Riverfront Avenue by the Drop-In Centre and left one man in hospital in non-life threatening condition with gunshot wounds.

Calgary Police Chief Roger Chaffin said he's most concerned by the "wanton recklessness" of the incident.  He says it was a "directed attack at the emergency services personnel on scene."

Chaffin said officers had responded to a hit and run by a suspected stolen SUV on a cyclist when the offending vehicle returned and "drove directly at police officers."

"One officer had to take evasive and decisive action and dove out of the way to gain cover inside a Calgary Police Service vehicle," he said. "He narrowly avoided being struck, but the police van was hit by the suspect vehicle and was significantly damaged."

Chaffin says another officer "responded to the threat by discharging his service firearm."

A woman is also in custody and police are hunting for a third suspect.

The cyclist was taken to hospital in serious condition and underwent surgery. No officers or emergency personnel were injured.

The Alberta Serious Incident Response Team is investigating the shooting. 

'Run, run, run, run'

Chaffin said after the officer opened fire on the suspect vehicle it took off down Riverfront Avenue and travelled a short distance before stopping. That's when the two suspects were taken into custody.

Chun Mok, who was in the area at the time, said he saw people fleeing the scene. 

"Over there, two ladies and then another guy flee all together," he said. "[They] got out of the car and I heard them, they said, 'run, run, run, run!'"

Jordan Hamilton, a spokesperson for the nearby Drop-In Centre, said they were taking precautions. 

"There was an incident near our shelter. Our clients were not involved, but they are scared. We've locked our gates to ensure their safety and are cooperating with police," he said.

Calgary police shut down Riverfront Avenue on Tuesday afternoon. (CBC)

Series of violent incidents

Chaffin said there were a "series of violent incidents," including dangerous driving and attempted car thefts throughout the city on Tuesday, and investigators are looking into whether they are connected.

"Calgarians will be concerned with how many of these happened today," he said.

When asked if there was any danger to the public, Chaffin said police are "certainly very motivated to identify these people and get them in custody."

Calgary police and ASIRT continue to hunt for the third suspect.


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