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Alberta Legislature adjourned after apparent suicide on front steps
EDMONTON -- A person fatally shot themselves on the front steps of the Alberta Legislature in Edmonton, forcing the early adjournment of Monday's session.
Police tape cordoned off the front steps of the legislature following the shooting, which police deemed "non-criminal."
The legislative assembly was adjourned around 3:15 p.m.
"I hate to interrupt, however there is an issue that is important to the assembly," speaker Nathan Cooper said to the assembly. “I’d just like to take a five minute recess. If both members of the assembly want to pop into their respective lounges, I’d be happy to provide an update in a moment.”
Edmonton police referred further requests for information to the Sheriff's department.
Legislature staff later issued a news release acknowledging an incident involving a firearm on the front steps.
"There is no danger to anyone else on scene and the matter has been contained by security and the Edmonton Police Service," legislative assembly staff said. "The assembly is adjourned at this time and we will provide further update with regard to the sitting of the Assembly at 5:15 p.m."
They said police and firefighters attended and have taken over care of the incident, while Alberta Sherriffs are providing support.
Premier Jason Kenney tweeted his condolences after hearing about the shooting.
People were still able to enter and exit the legislature through the west doors.
The legislative assembly reconvened at 7:30 p.m.
Before discussion returned to Bill 20, the first member to speak, NDP Edmonton-Glenora MLA Sarah Hoffman offered her condolences to those affected.
"I want to begin by acknowledging the trauma that happened here today and recognize all of the people who have been impacted by it, including people in this building, the staff who responded, and the people at home, who I know many are feeling triggered today by such a public and tragic loss of life. People who die of suicide don't choose to die; it's something that happens. And I grieve for the person who died today."
If you or someone you know is in crisis, here are some resources that are available.
Crisis Services Canada (1-833-456-4566 or text 45645), Centre for Suicide Prevention (1-833-456-4566) or Kids Help Phone (1-800-668-6868) offer ways of getting help if you, or someone you know, may be suffering from mental health issues.
If you need immediate assistance call 911 or go to the nearest hospital.