Former Air North Cargo worker shot, killed by RCMP after showing up armed at workplace
Health & Safety Air North Cargo guns RCMP Workplace Shooting workplace violence
A former Air North Cargo worker in Whitehorse, Yukon, who showed up at the worksite armed with a gun, has been shot and killed by the RCMP.
On Nov. 24, the RCMP received a 911 call that a man with a gun was in the area of the Air North Cargo Office at 12:37 p.m. The building is about two kilometres south of the Whitehorse International Airport terminal. There were multiple Air North employees present during the incident.
“An altercation occurred, during which time coworkers were able to call 911 who immediately dispatched police,” said Scott Sheppard, commanding officer of the RCMP’s “M” Division in the Yukon.
The suspect, who was known to employees, threatened them with a gun, Sheppard said. Police responded, arriving in about six minutes, and engaged the man.
Armed man approached officers
The Alberta Serious Incident Response Team (ASIRT), which investigates police shootings in the Yukon, said the man approached officers while carrying his rifle.
“Officers told the man to stop and drop the weapon,” ASIRT said in a press release. “The man continued to walk towards the officers and, at 12:50 p.m., an officer discharged his fire arm. The man was struck and fell to the ground. A rifle was located at the scene.”
RCMP officers immediately began emergency first aid on the victim.
“This was done by two RCMP officers who are specially trained as emergency police medics,” said Sheppard. The man was pronounced dead at hospital shortly after.
No employees, members of the public or the RCMP were seriously injured, according to police.
Identity not released, gun was legal
Police, citing a request from the suspect’s family, did not release his name. But it did say he was a resident of Alberta who had worked in the Yukon in the past and confirmed he was a former employee of Air North.
“Prior to the arrival of the police, the male with the gun, which we have now determined to be a non-prohibited and non-restricted long gun, gained access to the secured Air North compound,” said Sheppard. “The matter of access to this area has been referred to Transport Canada.”
Operations at the airport were not affected, and it continued to run as usual, police said.
“The Yukon RCMP would like to acknowledge the exemplary cooperation of Air North as we continue our criminal investigation,” it said. “The impact of this serious incident touches many people in this community-minded company across our small Territory.”
ASIRT’s investigation will examine the use of force. “No additional information will be released,” it said.