Fallen Edmonton police officers were ambushed and shot multiple times by suspects, investigators say
Edmonton Police say the two officers killed early Thursday were shot multiple times as soon as they arrived at the apartment suite where a woman had called for help with her 16-year-old son.
Edmonton Deputy Police Chief Devin Laforce said Friday that there was no indication of violence when police responded to the call and they were unaware there was a gun in the home.
constant Travis Jordan, 35, and Const. Brett Ryan, 30, were both pronounced dead at hospital after being shot dead by the teenage suspect in what Laforce called an “ambush”.
“It has since been confirmed that none of the officers fired their firearms and it is apparent that they did not have an opportunity to respond to the threat they faced,” Laforce said at a news conference.
Jordan and Ryan were called to what police called a family feud at a condo complex in the city’s northwest. A 55-year-old woman, the teenager’s mother, met officers outside. According to the police, the boy’s 73-year-old father was also in another room in the apartment.
Police said gunfire erupted before Jordan and Ryan entered the apartment suite, incapacitating them. The teenager and his mother then reportedly fought over the gun, and police say the boy shot his mother and then himself. The teenager died, but Laforce said the mother remained in hospital in serious but stable condition.
He said details about the weapon could not be shared publicly for investigative reasons.
The suspect had no criminal record, but police had been called to the home before, including over a previous mental health complaint.
The father is cooperating with the police investigation.
Because the 16-year-old suspect died in the presence of police, the Alberta Serious Incident Response Team (ASIRT) will be overseeing the investigation into the EPS murder.
Laforce said police were looking into whether there was a link between the killings and another Sunday shooting at a Pizza Hut near the apartment complex, but as of Friday police had not officially confirmed a link.
“There was no hesitation”
A man who lives in the apartment complex where Ryan and Jordan were killed early Thursday says shots were fired seconds after officers entered the building.
Phillip Dunn lives in the same building where the shooting took place.
He told CBC News on Friday he let officers into the building and heard the shooting shortly after.
He heard a rapid-fire series of gunfire, he said. Officials didn’t have time to react, he added.
“There was no hesitation,” Dunn said.
Jordan and Ryan – West Division patrol officers – were called to the Baywood Park Apartments complex near 114th Avenue and 132nd Street at around 12:47 a.m.
After the officers were shot, colleagues took one of them to the hospital to keep him alive while the other was put in an ambulance. They were pronounced dead at the hospital.
Dunn, who lives on the third floor of the building, said he was in his kitchen before the shooting.
He saw a flash of light flash through his window. Two officers stood outside with the woman who lives in the unit directly below him, Dunn said.
“There was a policeman outside,” he said. “When I looked, he made eye contact with me and kind of pointed to the door.”
Dunn said he went downstairs and answered the door for officers and the woman he knew as his neighbor. He said officers thanked him and told him to return to his home.
“I went up the stairs. They turned behind me to the second floor and before I even got back to my unit, I heard the shots.”
Dunn said he heard five or six shots as officers approached the door.
“They came to the door and you could hear them say, ‘Hello, this is the police. Please let us in.’
“I don’t think he even finished what he said.”
Dunn said he didn’t know the woman or her son very well but would often run into them in the hallways. He said they had lived there for at least two and a half years.
He said residents of the building, which is part of a large brick complex of three-story apartment buildings, have been ordered to remain in their units while police investigations at the scene continue.
Police cars and a forensics truck were still parked near the apartment complex as of Friday morning. The crime scene was cordoned off and a road leading into the area was also closed.
Autopsies for Ryan and Jordan are scheduled for the weekend and the 16-year-old boy’s autopsy is scheduled for Wednesday.
“It’s been an incredibly difficult and tragic 38 hours,” Laforce said, adding that the deaths had a “deep and far-reaching impact” on Edmonton residents.
“The weight of Cop Travis Jordan and Brett Ryan’s death still hasn’t fully fallen, nor will it ever truly sink in.”