REGINA – RCMP in Saskatchewan say they shot and killed a man in North Battleford after a chase that police say ended with the suspect’s vehicle ramming a police cruiser.
Police say it started when they received a call Saturday night about a male being shot at by some people in a vehicle.
Police found and chased the vehicle, which they say rammed an RCMP vehicle.
The vehicle was immobilized, police say, and an officer shot and wounded the driver of the suspect vehicle in what police describe as a “response to the driver’s actions.”
“Life-saving measures were immediately provided by RCMP members until local EMS arrived and took over. However, at approximately 9:40 p.m., the driver was pronounced deceased while en route to hospital,” RCMP Chief Superintendent Maureen Levy told reporters at a news conference in Regina on Sunday morning.
Brydon Bryce Whitstone of Onion Lake, Sask., has been identified by police as the man who died.
Levy said a woman who was in the vehicle suffered minor injuries in the pursuit. She was taken to hospital but was later released into police custody.
One RCMP officer also suffered minor injuries, received medical attention in hospital, and has since been released.
Regina city police have been called in to investigate how the Mounties handled the incident, and Levy said RCMP have also requested the Saskatchewan justice ministry appoint an independent observer.
Levy wouldn’t provide any further details on the pursuit, the ramming of the police cruiser, or the shooting, noting the investigation is now in the hands of Regina police.
Levy would not say how many shots were fired or if Whitstone was known to police, stressing that such questions will be investigated by police from Regina.
“We’ll have to let them conduct their investigation. We want to make sure it’s a fair and transparent investigation and we want to give them the opportunity without reproach to conduct their investigation independently from the RCMP,” Levy said.
RCMP said they will continue to handle the initial complaint of the male being chased and shot at.
Justice Ministry spokesman Drew Wilby explained at the news conference that when an independent observer is requested, the ministry appoints someone such as a former police officer.
“This individual will not be connected to the RCMP,” he said.
The observer will then file a report with the Ministry of Justice, Wilby said.
Levy said the officers who were at the incident aren’t working now and are receiving peer-to-peer counselling.
She said she wasn’t sure how many officers were now off-duty, but said the RCMP can deploy extra resources to North Battleford if needed.