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Family of woman killed by police says her death was 'unnecessary'

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The parents of a woman who was killed by Edmonton police say her death was "unnecessary."

The woman was tased and then shot by police at a southeast Edmonton apartment building Wednesday.

In a Thursday press release, EPS said officers were doing a welfare check on the woman but she did not answer the door when asked multiple times.

Due to what police said was an "imminent risk of self-harm," the officers entered the apartment to "ensure the health and safety" of the woman.

Saturday, the woman's parents said their daughter's death was the result of "a complete mishandling of the tools available to law enforcement in the application of dealing with mental health issues."

They believe the forced entry into the apartment confused and scared their daughter. 

"Had the approach been gradual and of a gentle nature, and had she fully understood the nature of the visit, I don't believe the things would have escalated," read a statement released by the parents.

"This is my primary concern here, in that a wellness check involves a specific approach and makes considerations of the person being dealt with – instead of creating a [confrontational] situation that creates fear and confusion."

Police said an imitation firearm was found at the scene. However, the woman's parents don't believe the officers needed to shoot their daughter.

"The tasing should have been sufficient to incapacitate her, but nevertheless resulted in lethal force being used," the statement said. "So, regardless of an air gun being present, her death was unnecessary because of this approach and [the] use of [a] deadly weapon."

The Alberta Serious Incident Response Team is investigating the actions and conduct of the officers involved in the woman's death.

She was the second person to be killed by Edmonton police within a week. 

Sunday, EPS Chief Dale McFee would not say if a Police and Crisis Response Team was called out for the women's mental health check.

McFee said police can't comment on the two deaths until ASIRT has finished its investigation.

"Let's wait for the facts to come out and let's analyze it," McFee said. "We get a lot of people who go out to the media, thinking that they're experts in guessing, and they have no idea what happened, because I haven't even seen all the details.

"In fairness to everybody involved, that's not appropriate to comment on any of that at this time."

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