Two Alberta men die following separate RCMP incidents; one Tasered, the other shot

PIGEON LAKE, Alta. — Two men are dead and two are in hospital after three separate incidents involving officers, prompting the Alberta Serious Incident Response Team to initiate its third investigation in as many days.

In the most recent incident, a 30-year-old man was fatally shot by an officer who was working alone around 10 p.m. Saturday near Pigeon Lake, Alta., about 100 km southwest of Edmonton. A 41-year-old man from the same vehicle was taken to hospital in Edmonton, where he was listed in . The deceased and the injured man have been identified as brothers from Pigeon Lake.

Family members have said the dead man is Lance Cutarm. The injured man is his older brother Larron. they said.

“He was a really nice guy and always with his family,” Wayne Cutarm said of his late cousin.

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In a separate incident that also involved RCMP, a 27-year-old man died in hospital Sunday morning after being Tasered during an arrest at a Leduc, Alta., gas station Friday night. Leduc is 30 km southwest of Edmonton.

And is also looking into two , Alta., RCMP officers involved in shooting and wounding a former star of the , who was taken to hospital with non-life-threatening injuries Thursday night. Grande Cache is 435 kilometres northwest of Edmonton.

“We have three ongoing investigations involving members of the RCMP,” Clifton Purvis, executive director of ASIRT, told a news conference Sunday afternoon. “We are receiving good co-operation from the RCMP.”

In the Pigeon Lake shooting, the was working alone in a marked , said Purvis. When he attempted to arrest one man, a confrontation with the other four broke out.

“An altercation ensued, and the resorted to his sidearm, shooting two people,” RCMP said in a news release Sunday.

Purvis said the officer discharged several shots. The 30-year-old man was pronounced dead at the scene, the 41-year-old was taken to hospital and the other three men were taken into custody.

On Global TV, Larry Cutarm complained that the officer Tasered Lance even after he died.

“My son was going this way and one of them cops shot him,” said Larry, who didn’t deny that they had been drinking. “They even Tasered him after they killed him. They Tasered him.”

The group was on its way to a friend’s home for a party.

Purvis said the cruiser was equipped with a camera, which will assist in the investigation.

ASIRT is also investigating after a Leduc RCMP officer Tasered a 27-year-old man during an arrest Friday night. The man died in hospital Sunday morning, Purvis said.

Around 9:40 p.m. Friday, officers used a Taser to subdue the man outside a Petro- station following an altercation, Leduc RCMP said in a news release Saturday.

Officers were responding to a series of calls involving the man, who was suspected of a number of assaults, auto thefts and driving complaints.

Witnesses said that the man was acting extremely aggressively and was possibly attempting to steal a car at the gas station when the RCMP intervened.

“He seemed very angry and out of control,” said Nicole Bull, who was outside of the Smitty’s across the street from the Petro-Canada when a dark minivan sped past her before crashing into a nearby parking barrier.

ASIRT spokeswoman Sarah Jackson confirmed the man “suffered a medical condition” after he was arrested and in handcuffs.

“A Taser was used, but there’s no correlation at this time that a Taser is the reason he is in hospital,” Jackson said Saturday afternoon.

Purvis said an autopsy will be conducted later this week.

ASIRT is also investigating after two Grande Cache RCMP officers shot and wounded a former star of the reality series Mantracker.

Around 10 p.m. Thursday, the officers tried to stop a vehicle being driven by Curtis Hallock, 38, on suspicion that he was impaired. The incident occurred about seven kilometres from Grande Cache.

According to RCMP, a confrontation started that ended with Hallock being shot by the officers. Hallock fled the scene on foot, but was apprehended a short time later at a residence about one kilometre away from where the incident occurred.

“He was taken into custody without further incident and transported to hospital with non-life threatening injuries,” Purvis said.

Hallock suffered two bullet wounds to the leg and one to the shoulder, said his sister, Priscilla Bowen. He appeared as a sidekick to the “mantracker” in several episodes of the popular Outdoor Life Network show.

Purvis said a team from Calgary has been called to Edmonton to assist in the investigations.

The identities of the two deceased men have not been released. Purvis said ASIRT’s policy is to release the names of individuals involved only if they are charged with a criminal offence.

ASIRT is a provincial squad that investigates serious incidents involving police officers, including those that result in serious injuries or death.

“Their mandate is to investigate incidents or complaints involving serious injury or death of any person, and matters of a serious or sensitive nature, that may have resulted from the actions of a police officer,” according to a government website.

Michelle Davio, spokeswoman for Solicitor General Jonathan Denis, said the minister will not comment on active ASIRT investigations except to say: “ASIRT was established to independently investigate matters such as this and I have full confidence in its ability.”

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