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BREAKING: Police and parents didn't know 16-year-old in police slaying had a gun

Police were familiar with the 16-year-old boy who killed two officers, shot his mom and then turned the gun on himself. All their dealings with him in the past were non-criminal in nature.

When two Edmonton police officers arrived at the domestic incident between a son and a mother where the officers fatally lost their lives, they had no indication there was a gun in the home.

On Friday afternoon, Edmonton Police Service (EPS) officials Devin Laforce, deputy chief of the EPS investigations bureau and Shane Perka, superintendent of the criminal investigations division gave updates on the incident where two officers lost their lives.

Police reported that after two officers were shot by a 16-year-old boy, his mother struggled with him for the gun before he turned the weapon on her and then took his own life. 

Police were familiar with the boy, but all their dealings with him in the past were non-criminal in nature.

“One of the incidents was categorized as a mental health complaint, but I don't have any further details,” Perka said.

Const. Brett Ryan, 30, with 5.5 years of service and Const. Travis Jordan, 35, with 8.5 years of service were killed in the line of duty in the incident.

At around 12:47 a.m. on Thursday March 16, a 55-year-old woman called the police and met them outside their apartment complex in Inglewood in northeast Edmonton. The call was from a mother who was looking for police help dealing with her teenage son.

The two officers then responded to the suite where she lived, along with a 73-year-old man, the boys father, and their 16-year-old son.

Laforce said there was no indication there was a weapon in the apartment and the parents didn't know the boy had the weapon.

“No information was communicated to our members (about a gun) and we didn't have any previous information about that residence,” Laforce said.

“There was nothing that flagged this that would require any extra services and even the call itself was a nonviolent domestic dispute, where a mother is having difficulty with her 16-year-old son. There was nothing to really indicate that this was a dangerous or high threat,” Laforce said.

Immediately upon arriving at the suite, both constables were shot multiple times by the 16-year-old son, and were immediately incapacitated.

"A struggle reportedly ensued between the mother and son over the firearm, and the suspect shot his mother before turning the firearm on himself, taking his own life. The father was not physically injured during the shootings," a press release from the Edmonton Police Service read on Friday afternoon.

It has been confirmed that neither officer discharged their firearm.

The father was in another room of the apartment while the incident unfolded and is cooperating with police.

“The father was in a separate room did not see even the original dispute and see the event with the officers,” Laforce said.

Police say the crime isn’t being investigated as ideologically motivated at this time, however it is consistent with an ambush on the officers.

Following 911 calls by multiple reporters, additional police and EMS arrived. One of the injured officers was transported in a police vehicle to hospital, while the other injured officer was taken by ambulance.

The woman complainant was taken by ambulance to hospital, where she remains in serious but stable condition.

Soon after arriving at the hospital, both officers were declared dead.

As the 16-year-old suspect died in the presence of police, the Director of Law Enforcement was notified and directed that the Alberta Serious Incident Response Team (ASIRT) provide oversight to the investigation being conducted by the EPS Homicide Section.

Autopsies for both officers will be conducted this weekend. The autopsy for the youth suspect is scheduled for Wednesday, Mar. 22, 2023. 

Information on the public portion of the funeral arrangements for the fallen officers will be released as soon as it becomes available.

Jennifer Henderson

About the Author: Jennifer Henderson

Jennifer Henderson is the editor of the St. Albert Gazette and has been with Great West Media since 2015
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