Two Canmore RCMP officers have been cleared of any wrongdoing in the fatal shooting of an armed robbery suspect on Railway Avenue at the beginning of January.
Alberta Serious Incident Response Team (ASIRT) executive director Clifton Purvis announced the findings of his investigation into the shooting last Friday (March 25).
ASIRT, which is a civilian oversight body which investigates officer-related shootings in the province, was called in to investigate after two officers shot and killed 63-year-old Canmore resident Steven Boucher on Monday, Jan. 10.
“I have determined that both police officers were in the lawful execution of their duties when they engaged Mr. Boucher in Canmore that day,” Purvis said. “Further, that they were justified in their belief that the gun leveled at the RCMP was real.
“I have concluded both police officers were acting lawfully and justified in all of the circumstances.”
Boucher was stopped by police 30 minutes after the third in a string of weekend armed robberies in the community, at which point he exited his motor vehicle and raised his right arm, holding a black pistol at an officer.
Afterwards, it was determined the gun was a replica air pistol designed to resemble a .45-calibre Smith and Wesson handgun.
“This replica firearm was virtually identical to the real firearm and I have determined the police officers would not have been able to identify it as a replica firearm,” Purvis said.
The two officers shot at Boucher a total of 11 times, striking him three times. He was treated at the scene and transported to hospital where he died as a result of his injuries.
One of the officers is a constable who has been with the force for three-and-a-half years, while the other is a corporal with 22 years on the force. They were 20 feet from Boucher when they fired.