Man dies after confrontation with police on Highway 43 near Whitecourt

A man died Tuesday near Whitecourt, Alta., after a confrontation with police in which officers fired several gunshots.

RCMP say officers fired several gunshots after traffic stop near roadside rest area

RCMP were at scene of an incident for several hours Tuesday afternoon near Whitecourt, Alta., where several gunshots were fired by police. Police confirmed that a man involved in the incident has died. ( Dana Illerbrun)

A man died Tuesday near Whitecourt, Alta., after a confrontation with police in which officers fired several gunshots.

Whitecourt RCMP said officers tried to stop a vehicle on Highway 43. As the officers attempted to approach the vehicle, "a confrontation occurred which led to the discharge of members' firearms," police said in a news release issued just after 5 p.m.

"The adult male suspect who was involved in this incident was later located deceased."

The Alberta Serious Incident Response Team has been notified and is investigating the incident, the news release said. 

The roadside confrontation happened near Chickadee Creek, RCMP said, in a rest area about 20 kilometres northwest of Whitecourt.

Police issued their first news release about the incident at 1:45 p.m.

"The area surrounding a rest area is contained in search of a suspect who fled from police," the earlier news release said. "The situation is being contained and a large police presence is on scene to ensure public safety."

RCMP warned motorists about extensive traffic delays on Highway 43. Three hours later, they said traffic flow had returned to normal.

ASIRT has a mandate to investigate incidents involving Alberta's police that result in serious injury or death, and also to investigate allegations of police misconduct.