ASIRT investigating RCMP chase, shooting in northern Alta. that 1 man, police dog dead
EDMONTON -- The police watchdog in Alberta is investigating an incident that left both a man and police dog dead after RCMP attempted a traffic stop last week.
The Alberta Serious Incident Response Team (ASIRT) said in a release on Monday that they are investigating the incident that took place near High Prairie, Alta. last Thursday.
RCMP conducted a traffic stop on a vehicle that was associated with 29-year-old Lionel Ernest Grey, from High Prairie, who had outstanding criminal warrants on Thursday at around 10:57 p.m.
Grey, driving a red Cadillac, fled from police but got stuck in the mud, ASIRT said.
According to the police watchdog, two RCMP officers located the vehicle unoccupied and found a bag containing three different types of ammunition and identification belonging to Grey.
RCMP brought in a police dog to help establish a track to locate the man who was heading east into a wooded area in Winagami Provincial Park, ASIRT said.
The police watchdog said officers tracked the suspect for about two hours when they eventually encountered Grey.
“The man and police exchanged gunfire,” ASIRT said. “During this incident, the police service dog was struck by gunfire and killed.”
RCMP directed the police members to stand down until the Emergency Response Team (ERT) could arrive to assist.
ASIRT said ERT members arrived and encountered the man again.
“During this encounter, several police officers discharged their firearms,” ASIRT added. “At the time, the officers believed the man had been struck.”
The 29-year-old managed to evade police who continued to conduct searches of the area.
According to ASIRT, two RCMP officers who were assigned to maintain a perimeter around the area Grey had last been seen within spotted him in a ditch.
“The officers exited their marked police vehicle and a confrontation occurred between the man and the police officers, during which both officers discharged their service firearms,” ASIRT said.
ASIRT says Grey died after this incident despite medical officers attempting to treat him.
A .22-calibre rifle with a range finder were recovered by police from the scene.
The investigation into the incident continues.