Calgary Sun | Jan 08, 2017
Mounties shot and killed a man wanted in a murder investigation after an attempted arrest turned violent, RCMP brass said Sunday.
While executing an arrest warrant Saturday afternoon on the Stoney Nakoda First Nation west of Calgary, RCMP said one suspect was arrested without incident, but shots were fired after “the second suspect engaged police.”
Ralph Stephens, 27, was rushed to hospital and police said he succumbed to his injuries about an hour after the incident.
Chief Supt. Tony Hamori said the body of Lorenzo Bearspaw, 27, was found Friday afternoon on the Morley reserve after his sister reported him missing last Tuesday.
After the discovery of Bearspaw’s body, Hamori said they released Canada-wide arrest warrants for John Stephens, the 29-year-old brother of the man shot by police, and Deangelo Powderface, 22, for the murder of Bearspaw.
RCMP arrived at a residence on the reserve about 4 p.m., where Hamori said there were a number of people present, including the Stephens brothers.
Hamori, speaking the media Sunday, said the fact two people have died is tragic.
“I want to express our condolences to the families during this very difficult time,” he said.
“I want to urge patience by the community and the public while these investigations take place.”
Hamori declined to give details about what actions prompted RCMP to open fire, noting the investigation is now in the hands of the Alberta Serious Incident Response Team (ASIRT).
Powderface evaded police but turned himself in to Cochrane RCMP on Sunday night and police are no longer looking for anyone in connection to the murder of Bearspaw.
Bearspaw’s sister Kristia Bearspaw-Snow, reached by Postmedia Sunday, had little to say about her brother’s death.
“I’m hanging in there,” she said, declining to comment further.
ASIRT is now probing the police shooting while the murder of Bearspaw remains under investigation by RCMP. The Alberta police watchdog didn’t respond to requests for comment Sunday.
Bearspaw himself has had a history with police, including a 2014 arrest by Calgary police in connection with the theft of a police cruiser and impaired operation of a motor vehicle. Last seen Jan. 1 following a New Year’s Eve party, Bearspaw was reported missing by family last week.
The officer involved in the shooting is currently off active duty, and RCMP said they won’t release any more details on the murder of Bearspaw while the investigation is ongoing.
John Stephens remains in custody and is facing charges of first-degree murder in connection with Bearspaw’s death.