Man dies after exchanging gunfire with police in Waseca, RCMP say
One RCMP officer in hospital with supposedly non life-threatening injury
The Saskatchewan RCMP has requested an independent investigation after a man was fatally injured during an exchange of gunfire with officers during a search warrant in a village close to the Alberta border.
The search warrant late Saturday evening was related to an investigation by the Battlefords RCMP Gang Task Force which started in October 2021, police said in a news release.
A preliminary investigation showed that people were trafficking cocaine, methamphetamine, fentanyl and firearms in and around North Battleford, RCMP said.
Officers executed the search warrant on Saturday at 11:45 p.m. at a commercial property in Waseca, around 90 kilometres northwest of North Battleford, according to police.
Based on information from the investigation, officers believed there was "a significant risk to public and police safety," RCMP said.
The Saskatchewan RCMP Critical Incident Response Team — the RCMP's version of a SWAT team — was called to assist with the search warrant, and officers determined there were four people inside the property, RCMP said.
After negotiations and the use of unspecified "non-lethal methods," two men and one woman left the building, RCMP said. Officers took the three people into custody.
Police said the last man inside wasn't following commands and was still not complying when he exited the building.
Officers used "non-lethal methods" again to get the 33-year-old to obey their commands, according to police.
"The man displayed a firearm," RCMP wrote in the news release. "Gunfire was exchanged and the man was fatally injured."
The family of the man from the Lloydminster area has been informed about his death, police said.
The incident has also resulted in one RCMP officer being hospitalized with what is believed to be a non-life-threatening injury. Police said they will not provide further information about the officer's injuries.
The RCMP news release doesn't specify how the 33-year-old man died during the gunfire exchange.
Saskatoon Police Service are now investigating the circumstances surrounding the death of the man, according to RCMP.
Saskatchewan RCMP said they have requested the Ministry of Justice to appoint an "independent investigation observer."