The horrific fatal shootings of two Edmonton police officers responding to a domestic call earlier this month has shocked and sadden residents in this district and across the province and nation.
Constables Travis Jordan, 35, and Brett Ryan, 30, were attacked when responding to a call in north Edmonton early on March 16. The two veteran police officers were rushed to hospital, where they were both declared deceased.
The young male suspect in the shootings died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound, and a female injured at the scene remains in hospital.
As is fitting, politicians from across the region, province and nation have expressed their condolences to the families of the fallen officers.
Nathan Cooper, MLA for Olds-Didsbury-Three Hills and Speaker of the Legislative Assembly, spoke for many when he said, “I am deeply saddened by the senseless murder of these two officers who gave their lives protecting public safety. Today the families of these men are enduring incredible grief and our thoughts are with them.
“We thank all those first responders who work every day to protect our communities and keep us safe.”
Although Alberta has past experience with officers being shot and killed in the line of duty – including the murder of four officers in Mayerthorpe in March 2005 – that experience makes this latest tragedy no less traumatic for the community-at-large.
Alberta has marked yet another terrible gun violence milestone and, of course, nothing can truly be done to lessen the impact on the families, friends and colleagues of the fallen.
What Albertans can do going forward is insist that more, much more, be done to protect the first responders who put their lives at risk protecting communities across this province.
During the upcoming provincial election, voters will expect every candidate, no matter which party he or she represents, to outline the specific and concrete plans they have to address the scourge of gun violence that has once again taken the lives of heroic Alberta first responders.
Dan Singleton is an editor with the Albertan.