The Calgary Police Service expressed their own “profound grief” on Thursday, following the death of two Edmonton Police officers earlier on March 16.
The on-duty officers were killed in a shooting that occurred in that city around 1 a.m. One other person also died from a self-inflicted wound, Edmonton police said. The officers were responding to a domestic dispute, according to Edmonton police. When the officers approached an apartment suite, they were shot by a male suspect. EPS said, by all early indications, the officers did not discharge their weapons.
The female complainant was also taken to the hospital in life-threatening condition.
Edmonton police Chief Dale McFee spoke to the media on Thursday morning. He didn’t take questions about the incident. He said at the time, the officers were being escorted to the medical examiner’s office. He urged patience as they continued to investigate the incident.
“Today the Edmonton Police Service has been marked by, a really, an unthinkable and a horrific tragedy as two of our members have died in the line of duty,” said McFee.
“I can’t tell you how devastated we are with their loss.
“These two members died in service and protection of our community and their lives and sacrifice will not be forgotten.”
He identified the officers as Const. Travis Jordan, 35, with eight-and-a-half years experience, and Const. Brett Ryan, 30, five-and-a-half years experience. The both worked with that city’s West Division.
Edmonton Mayor Amarjeet Sohi said police officers put their lives on the line to protect the citizens in a city.
“Today is a very difficult and sad day,” he said.
“We hold you in our hearts as you mourn this profound loss.”
Alberta Premier Danielle Smith and Public Safety Minister Mike Ellis issued a joint statement following the officers’ deaths.
“Today, the province mourns the loss of two police officers killed in the line of duty. On behalf of the Government of Alberta, we extend our deepest sympathies to the family, friends and colleagues of Const. Travis Jordan and Const. Brett Ryan,” they said.
“Every day, police officers across Alberta put on their uniforms to step up to protect and serve our communities. The sudden and tragic deaths of these two Edmonton Police Service officers remind us again of the dangers police officers constantly face to ensure the safety of Albertans.
Calgary police, city councillors respond to Edmonton tragedy
“Calgary Police express condolences following shooting deaths of two Edmonton police officers. They made the ultimate sacrifice in serving their communities,” wrote CPS.
“On behalf of the CPS, we send our deepest condolences to their families, friends and colleagues.”
Calgary police dealt with a tragedy just a little over two years ago, when Sgt. Andrew Harnett was killed in the line of duty during a New Year’s Eve traffic stop.
The tragedy was also brought up in Calgary city council Thursday morning. During the Community Development Committee meeting, chair Coun. Kourtney Penner said their thoughts are with the City of Edmonton.
“We very much hope that there can be healing and understanding coming out of this incident,” Coun. Penner said.
Outside Calgary city council chambers on Thursday, Mayor Jyoti Gondek expressed her sorrow over the officers’ deaths.
“We know that anytime an officer responds to a call, they have no idea what they will meet on the other end, and this was an incredibly tragic situation,” she said.
“I thank members of every police service who do this work every day, knowing that their lives are at risk. This is an incredibly sad day.”
Coun. Raj Dhaliwal, who sits on the Calgary Police Commission, said his work on the commission has provided an added perspective on the tragedy.
“I mean, each and every day, every time I see a police officer in uniform, I have an appreciation of the work they do. It’s not easy,” Dhaliwal said.
“It’s not easy because every time they answer that phone call or that call, they don’t know what is going to be the outcome. You really don’t want that outcome that turns out to be tragic and someone has to lose their life. So, it puts their great work in perspective.”
He said the incident is still in the very early stages and he doesn’t yet know how the City or the Calgary Police Commission will provide support to Edmonton.
The Calgary Police Commission has reached out to the Edmonton Police Service with their condolences. In a statement sent to LiveWire Calgary, commission chair Shawn Cornett said their hearts are with the EPS, the Edmonton Police Commission and all Edmontonians.
“The senseless deaths of Constables Brett Ryan and Travis Jordan are a loss for our entire province. Today, we are mourning with their families, friends, colleagues and community.
No police officer should ever have to lay down their life in the service of their community, yet we are now seeing that happen over and over in Canada. It is something we must never accept as normal.
- Contributions from Aryn Toombs and Darren Krause