Subject of officer-involved shooting facing additional charge

Lethbridge Police have charged a 17-year-old youth for assaulting a peace officer with a weapon in connection with an incident last fall that resulted in an officer discharging his service pistol.

The male youth was previously charged with several other offences following a series of incidents that occurred prior to the officer-involved shooting.

On October 9, 2015 at approximately 6:30 p.m. police responded to multiple 911 calls about a disturbance involving a man armed with a large knife at Safeway along the 500 block of University Drive. The suspect fled the store prior to police arrival, but following a search of the immediate area he was located along the 300 block of Red Crow Boulevard. The suspect was armed with a large-bladed knife and during the course of a confrontation with police an officer discharged his service pistol. The suspect, identified as a 17-year-old Lethbridge resident, was subsequently taken to hospital for treatment of serious, but non-life-threatening injuries. 

Investigation into the events prior to the officer-involved shooting determined that at approximately 6:20 p.m. a young male approached a female who was shopping at Safeway and sexually assaulted her. Store security was notified and the man was located inside the store armed with a large-bladed knife that had been stolen from behind the butcher’s counter. The man was acting very irrationally and was observed swinging the knife around, which prompted multiple 911 calls.

As required by the Alberta Police Act, the Director of Law Enforcement was notified following the shooting and directed the Alberta Serious Incident Response Team (ASIRT) to investigate. The ASIRT investigation is ongoing at this time.

In October 2015 the 17-year-old, who cannot be identified, was initially charged with one count each of sexual assault, theft under $5,000 and possession of an offensive weapon dangerous to the public.

Following a review of the file by the local Crown Prosecutor’s Office, police have now laid an additional charge of assaulting a peace officer with a weapon.

The 17-year-old is scheduled to make his next court appearance today.