The Yukon RCMP has offered some more details about the events that led to an officer shooting and killing a man in the vicinity of the Air North Cargo terminal at Whitehorse’s airport.
Chief Superintendent Scott Sheppard, the Yukon RCMP’s commanding officer, addressed reporters in a Nov. 28 news conference.
Sheppard said the man was armed with a gun and threatening employees at the Air North facility on Nov. 24.
Multiple Air North employees were present at the facility, Sheppard said. Police responded to a 9-1-1 call reporting a man with a gun in the area at 12:37 p.m.
Sheppard said responding officers “engaged” with the individual who was the subject of the call and by 12:50 one RCMP officer had fired his gun. Officers provided first aid and then an ambulance took the man to the hospital where he was pronounced dead at approximately 1:30 p.m.
No one else was seriously injured.
“At the request of the family, we will not be releasing the name of the deceased at this time. What I can tell you about the deceased male is that he was a resident of Alberta and in the past had worked in Yukon,” Sheppard said.
He clarified that the man had worked for more than one employer in the Yukon. One of them was Air North. The man was not unknown to the Yukon RCMP but Sheppard said his interactions with law enforcement were “limited.”
The RCMP commanding officer offered few details about the shooting itself, citing ongoing investigations by the Yukon RCMP, Transport Canada and the Alberta Serious Incident Response Team (ASIRT), an organization contracted with the Yukon government to investigate police incidents that lead to death or serious injury.
An autopsy on the deceased has been scheduled for Nov. 30 through the Yukon coroner’s office.
Sheppard said the gun carried by the man was a long gun that doesn’t fall into the restricted or prohibited categories.
No specifics on the location where the shooting took place were provided beyond its proximity to the Air North Cargo terminal. Sheppard added that “multiple sites,” all in the vicinity of the Air North property, were examined forensically and have since been released.
Sheppard said ASIRT arrived in Whitehorse on Friday and left Sunday. The police watchdog offered an early look into their investigation with a statement released mid afternoon on Nov. 28. The ASIRT account is similar, their public notice states that the man was carrying a rifle and walked toward the RCMP officers, ignoring the RCMP officers’ instructions to stop and drop the rifle. ASIRT also released a photo of the rifle that was found at the scene. The rifle pictured sports a scope and detachable magazine; an unfired .22-calibre cartridge can be seen on the snow next to its barrel.
Air North tweeted Nov. 25 that the Whitehorse Cargo office would be closed on Saturday, Nov. 26 and would reopen for normal business hours on Nov. 28.
Police ask anyone with information about the incident to call the M Division Major Crime Unit at 867-667-5500, or email at MDiv_MCU@rcmp-grc.gc.ca. ASIRT is also seeking information from those who might have witnessed the confrontation between the man and the police or who may have relevant video footage. ASIRT can be reached at 780-644-1483.
Contact Jim Elliot at firstname.lastname@example.org