Feel good about your information and become a local news champion today

ASIRT report clears Calgary officers of wrongdoing in 2021 hotel shooting death

Two Calgary police officers were cleared in the 2021 shooting death of a 20-year-old woman at an apparent check on welfare call.

The seven-page report on the incident was delivered June 30, 2023 by the Alberta Serious Incident Response Team (ASIRT).

ASIRT Executive Director Michael Ewenson wrote in the report that there was no evidence to support the belief that two officers engaged in any unlawful or unreasonable conduct in relation to the call.

“While the death of (affected person) AP is unfortunate, the force used by the officers was necessary and reasonable in all the circumstances.”

Around 4 p.m. on March 3, 2021, Calgary police were called to the Nuvo Hotel at 827 – 12 Avenue SW for a complaint involving a person with a gun, according to a Calgary police news release issued at the time.

The ASIRT report indicates that the Affected Person (AP) had called 911 and told the operator she had a gun and was going to kill herself. CPS officers were dispatched to the call.

The two officers arrived and were at the bottom of the stairwell with a view to the room the person was in. According to the report, they told her to come out with nothing in her hands. The woman reportedly opened the door to see who was there before going back in.

“Shortly thereafter, AP re-emerged with a replica BB handgun in her hands and moved it from an upward facing position to a pointed position towards the officers,” the report read.

The report said a “misclick” was heard from the woman’s weapon on the body worn camera.

Officers fired 13 rounds at the woman with five hitting her. The woman died at the scene.

‘Suicide by cop’

911 call logs suggested the woman, who spoke with a French accent, possibly sounded intoxicated.

The report said she kept repeating “I kill me,” or “I will kill me” when on the line with 911.  The woman said she was coming out the door and, according to the report, the 911 operator kept repeating for her to make sure her hands were empty. 

Commands are repeated by officers, and then gunfire is heard.

The autopsy report found that the cause of death was multiple gunshot wounds to the torso. They said the woman had exhibited suicidal intent with threats of self-harm and then escalated the situation with the fake weapon.

“Suicide by cop (police assisted suicide) is a term to describe a method of suicide when an individual engages in threatening behavior [sic] towards law enforcement personnel which poses an apparent risk for serious injury or death with the intent to precipitate the use of deadly force by officers,” the autopsy read.

The medical examiner said the woman had cocaine and trace amounts of methamphetamine in her blood, along with elevated alcohol levels.

The report showed that the officers had no way of knowing the gun pointed in their direction was a replica.

“As such, their respective responses to this reasonably perceived lethal threat were both proportionate and necessary,” the report read.