'We're all fairly alarmed': North Battleford mayor reacts to weekend shooting death
RCMP say the incident is isolated and there is no need for panic
North Battleford Mayor Ryan Bater said this past weekend's shooting death isn't something the city of 14,000 is used to.
Brydon Whitstone, a First Nations man from Onion Lake Cree Nation succumbed to injuries resulting from shots fired by Battlefords RCMP on Saturday evening.
The 22-year-old allegedly rammed a police vehicle after a brief pursuit. Police say Whitstone's actions triggered gunshots from RCMP.
"Because so much is unknown, because there is an investigation happening, I think it's just difficult to understand," he said, reminding residents RCMP stated there is no risk to public safety as the incident was isolated.
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The Regina Police Service is investigating the circumstances surrounding Whitstone's death, as per RCMP policy. Additionally, Saskatchewan's Ministry of Justice will oversee the investigation by appointing an independent observer.
Extra safety measures
Over the past couple of years, the city of North Battleford has ranked among the highest in Canada in crime severity rating, according to Statistics Canada.
The program's municipal employee patrollers have been granted permission to deal with lower-level and low-risk offenses to alleviate burden from RCMP officers.
"Again, the goal is to allow the RCMP to focus on more serious crimes which is what they're trained for and better suited," said Puffalt.
With files from Bridget Yard