Man killed, RCMP officer injured in armed confrontation south of Edmonton
'There were shots fired, and the next thing you know, they pulled him out of the car and he was on the ground'
A 27-year-old man was killed Wednesday following a vehicle chase and armed confrontation with RCMP on the Queen Elizabeth II Highway south of Leduc, Alta.
An RCMP officer suffered serious but non-life-threatening injuries, police said in a news release.
The incident began at a home in Blackfalds, just north of Red Deer, at 8:15 a.m. MT when RCMP responded to a gun complaint.
When officers arrived, shots were fired at their vehicles. A female bystander was shot and taken to hospital with serious injuries, RCMP said.
Officers tried to contain the area, but the suspect fled in a vehicle, the release said.
After his vehicle was located heading north on the highway, police tried to stop him using a spike belt. The vehicle crossed the median and continued north in the southbound lane.
When the vehicle was finally stopped, a confrontation occurred.
The man was killed and the injured RCMP officer was taken to hospital.
Police did not describe the dead man's injuries — his name has not been released — or say how the officer was injured.
A witness told CBC News he was driving south on the highway around 9:30 a.m. MT when a northbound RCMP vehicle came toward him on his side of the highway. When he pulled over to the shoulder, several more police vehicles drove past.
"There were five or six SUVs on the wrong side of the road chasing a black BMW and then suddenly someone hit the back of the BMW, it looked like, and spun him sideways," said Dale Slater.
WATCH | Footage from the scene of the shooting:
'Cloud of dust and smoke'
"It was kind of like you see on TV all time, they spun out the back end. There was a cloud of dust and smoke."
A number of officers jumped out of their vehicles and ran toward the BMW, Slater said.
"There were shots fired, and the next thing you know, they pulled him out of the car and he was on the ground.
"It looked like one officer was injured ... he was behind one of the cars. They had people dealing with him as well as the person that came out of the black BMW."
Slater said he heard several shots.
"There were a number of quick shots in repetition right after each other, but we weren't actually able to see who was shooting," he said.
Steve Hutchison was at his home near the highway when he heard a helicopter circling low around 9:30 a.m.
"I saw the police helicopter; saw some police cruisers with their lights on the highway and some cars pulled over," Hutchison said.
"I went back in the house and heard about six gunshots in a row."
'Then it was just chaos'
Hutchison says he saw a police officer, with his gun drawn, standing over someone lying on the ground.
"Then it was just chaos," he said.
Several officers had their guns drawn and somebody appeared to be performing CPR on the fallen person, he said.
He lost sight of what was happening as more police vehicles arrived.
Northbound and southbound traffic on the highway was diverted at Highway 2A. Southbound traffic was being diverted at Highway 39, while traffic going north was being diverted at Glen Park Road.
The Alberta Serious Incident Response Team, which investigates police cases involving serious injury or death, or serious allegations of police misconduct, is looking into the shooting.
With files from Scott Stevenson