Calgary police chief Rick Hanson stood behind the actions of a 20-year veteran officer after a man was shot and killed in a standoff with police early yesterday morning in the city’s southwest.

Police responded to a weapons complaint just before 1 a.m. in the 500 block of Sabrina Road SW where neighbours say a man was threatening people with the prohibited weapon. Witnesses say the bizarre incident started when a man known as “Don,” in his 40s, appeared drunk and tried picking a fight with his connecting neighbours over a missing piece of a guitar.

“He seemed like he just wanted to pick a fight, like he was over-emasculated. He was kind of having some problems lately with his health,” Greg Mceleree said. “I just told him to go sleep it off.”

Shortly after, the man went over to his other neighbour’s house across the street and approached a 19-year-old man there with a sawed-off shotgun and told him he wanted to kill his neighbours, the victim’s sister said.

“My brother tried to talk him out of it, and that’s when the guy held him at gunpoint for three hours in the backyard. My brother is really shaken up,” she said, adding her brother managed to call police.

That’s when the man became confrontational with officers on scene and left police with no other choice but to shoot and kill him, Calgary police Chief Rick Hanson said yesterday.

“There is only one thing a sawed-off shotgun is used for, and it’s to kill people. It’s an extremely dangerous weapon and in my opinion, they made the appropriate call.”

Hanson defended the veteran officer’s actions when asked why police didn’t just shoot to injure.

“We’re taught to shoot centre mass … a wounded person with a shotgun is deadly,” Hanson responded.
The Alberta Serious Incident Response Team (ASIRT) is investigating the shooting.

Latest From ...