Woman shot dead by RCMP ran at officers with sword, says preliminary investigation

A woman who called police to report she was suicidal was shot by an RCMP officer after she emerged from her house with a katana sword, according to a preliminary investigation of the incident.

The woman died in hospital on Monday morning. The Alberta Serious Incident Response Team is now investigating.

“The woman came outside and ran at the police officers, sword extended in front of her, as she was directed to drop the weapon,” ASIRT said Tuesday in a news release.

“The woman came within very close proximity to the officers, where a confrontation occurred that resulted in one officer discharging a firearm.”

Video of the incident was recorded from the RCMP vehicles at the scene, ASIRT said.

The incident unfolded in the Pine Street area of Sherwood Park, just west of Brentwood Boulevard.

The woman first called RCMP for help at around 3 a.m., reporting that she believed someone associated with her abusive boyfriend was in her backyard. Officers came to her house but didn’t find anyone, the news release said.

At around 7:30 a.m., the woman called RCMP a second time and said she was drinking and was going to kill herself; she asked for officers to come to her house. The woman told the operator she had a knife and a sword. She stayed on the line for some time before saying, “I have to hang up now.” 

“When called back, the woman answered, screaming ‘Why aren’t they here yet?’ but abruptly hung up again, as she appeared to have observed officers arriving on scene,” ASIRT said in a news release.

The first officer to arrive at the woman’s house stayed in her police cruiser and tried to speak to the woman, who was standing in her front doorway, holding her sword. The officer asked the woman to put down the weapon and come outside, according to ASIRT.

Two more officers arrived at the home, and all three got out of their vehicles. That’s when the woman approached the officers, ASIRT stated.

ASIRT investigates incidents involving Alberta’s police that have resulted in serious injury or death to any person, as well as serious or sensitive allegations of police misconduct.

ASIRT said it will not provide more information on the incident while it continues to investigate.

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