Police shoot suspect after failing to subdue him
The Canadian Press
Published Tuesday, December 18, 2007 5:51PM EST
Last Updated Friday, May 18, 2012 7:22PM EDT
WINNIPEG - Police in Winnipeg say an officer was forced to shoot and kill an armed man when efforts to subdue him with a Taser were unsuccessful.
Sgt. Kelly Dennison said police were called to a neighbourhood with a rough reputation about 11 p.m. Monday to deal with a 911 call from someone being threatened by a man.
Two officers were "confronted in a threatening manner'' by the man, who was armed with a gun and a bat, Dennison said Tuesday.
One of the officers fired his Taser, but for some unexplained reason it did not work properly. An officer was then forced to use his service pistol, he said.
"From all appearances at this point in time, the Taser was deployed correctly, but it was unsuccessful. The reason it was unsuccessful is still part of this investigation.''
When fired, Tasers shoot two probes that deliver an electrical shock to the target. The stun guns can be finicky, however. They can fail to jolt if one of the probes misses a person and they won't work through thick clothing.
Police do not believe the suspect, whose name was not released, fired his gun.
It's not clear whether the Taser and the gun were fired by the same officer, although Dennison confirmed that under Winnipeg police policy an officer brandishing a Taser would normally be backed up by another officer with a service pistol.
"That's the way we go through our training. One officer, if displaying a Taser, another officer would be in a lethal force position.''
Dennison said it was too early in the investigation to reveal many details about what happened, but he did say the two officers felt threatened when the man confronted them outside a west-end apartment block.
"If our officers are confronted by individuals armed with firearms or weapons, and their lives or other people's lives are in jeopardy, we have to take the appropriate action.
"That's what we're trained for. That's what you pay us for.''
The suspect and the tenant he allegedly threatened over the phone were acquaintances, but it was not a domestic dispute, Dennison said.
"No, they weren't arguing over the hydro bill, but all of those details will come out.''
An entire city block around the Langside Street apartment remained taped off with yellow police ribbon Tuesday morning. Officers were restricting access to the block, which is full of big, old, once-beautiful homes, some apartments and rooming houses. There is also the odd pocket of recently renovated properties.
Neighbour Derek Alberts said he arrived home early Tuesday to commotion. Though the neighbourhood has seen some upgrades, Alberts said there are still rough parts on his street.
"It's `Gangside,''' Alberts said, referring to Langside Street's notorious nickname.
Students at Balmoral Hall, a posh all-girls private school, were not allowed to use the back entrance to their complex, which is directly across the street from the apartment where the shooting took place.