Edmonton

Man shot by police says he was unarmed, on the ground

An Edmonton man who was shot six times by a police officer is claiming that two of the shots were fired after he'd dropped to the ground.

An Edmonton man who was shot six times by apolice officeris claiming thattwo of the shots were fired after he'd dropped to the ground.

Kirk Steele, 33, was shotJuly 27 after he allegedly stabbed a police dog named Wizzard several times while fleeing police.

Steele, who had been on life support, is now conscious and is telling his side of the story from his hospital room bed through lawyer Tom Engel.

Engel said Steele was running from police to avoid arrest for a parole violation. Steeleclaimshe dropped his knife after stabbing the dog, and was unarmed when he was shot.

'No other reasonable explanation'

Engel said Steele dropped to the ground after beingshot four times, but then saw two more flashes that he believes came froma policeofficer'sfirearm.

"There's no other reasonable explanation for the two flashes of light and the bangs and when you look at the number of times he was shot — six times — it all adds up," said Engel.

Steele's version of events raises serious questions, said Engel, who repeated his call for an outside police force to investigate.

Solicitor General Harvey Cenaiko's office has said the RCMP have already been called in to assist withand review the case.

In July, Edmonton police spokeswoman Karen Carlson said the police officer who shot Steele had drawnhisfirearm because of the potential danger to the public.

Engel says his client has a long and violent criminal record, but hasn't yet been charged in connection with last month's incident.

Four men seen with weapons

The incident began at about 1:30 a.m. on July 27 when officers spotted four men getting out of a car at 99 Street and 69 Avenue.

Carlson said the men, who were accompanied by a pit bull and allegedly armed with weapons including baseball bats and batons, were heading to a house known to police when the officers intercepted them.

The officers grabbed two of the men, and then went into the house to check on the people inside. At that point, a man armed with a knife fled through a bathroom window.

When officers confronted the man, Carlson said, he refused to drop the knife.

"He proceeded to run and then the police service dog was deployed. As the police service dog approached the subject, he slowed, turned around and aggressively began stabbing our police dog," Carlson said.

"Given those circumstances, the officer's only choice at that time was to pull his weapon, resulting in shots being fired and the suspect being hit."

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