ASIRT investigating after man shot by police during altercation at Vermilion hospital

Alberta’s police watchdog has been asked to investigate after a man under police supervision at a rural Alberta hospital was shot during an altercation and had to be airlifted to Edmonton.

It happened Wednesday at the Vermilion Health Centre, about 175 kilometres east of Edmonton.

The situation began just after 3 p.m., when Vermilion RCMP were asked to help EMS with an agitated man who was reportedly having a panic attack.

Upon arrival, RCMP said officers “determined that the male was impaired by drugs and required medical attention.”

Police helped to take the man to the local hospital, and were asked to remain there throughout the afternoon and evening while the patient was being treated.

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At approximately 10 p.m., RCMP said an officer accompanied the man outside so he could have a cigarette.

“When they were returning to the hospital room, an altercation occurred between the male and the officer that resulted in the officer discharging his service pistol,” RCMP said.

STARS air ambulance was called and the 33-year-old man, who is from the Alberta-Saskatchewan border town of Lloydminster, was airlifted to an Edmonton hospital.

No officers were injured during this incident, police said.

Because of the altercation, Alberta RCMP said it notified the Alberta Justice director of law enforcement, who has since directed the Alberta Serious Incident Response Team (ASIRT) to investigate.

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ASIRT is tasked with looking into incidents where people are seriously injured or killed in interactions with police in the province.

“Independent of ASIRT’s investigation, the Alberta RCMP’s internal review process has been implemented to gather a full account of what took place during this incident,” Mounties said.

RCMP training, policy, police response, and the duty status of the members involved will be subject to review.

Because ASIRT is investigating, RCMP could not comment further.

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