Alberta police watchdog says 20-year-old woman shot in Calgary hotel was holding pellet gun

A 20-year-old woman fatally shot by police in a Beltline hotel was holding a replica handgun pellet pistol when officers arrived, according to Alberta’s police watchdog.

A press release issued by the Alberta Serious Incident Response Team (ASIRT) says Calgary police responded Wednesday to a third-floor room at the Nuvo Hotel after receiving a call from a woman who sounded distressed.

ASIRT said the woman was threatening self-harm and said she had a gun. Police approached the room, at which point a woman appeared in the doorway.

The woman turned and went back into the room and returned with what ASIRT said appeared to be a black handgun, allegedly confirmed by footage from body-worn cameras.

“Further details regarding what the woman may have done with the handgun or what occurred thereafter are being withheld pending additional possible interviews; however, shortly thereafter, two officers discharged their service pistols,” ASIRT said in the release. 

Calgary police were stationed outside the Nuvo Hotel in the Beltline neighbourhood on Wednesday afternoon. (Julie Debeljak/CBC)

Tactical members entered the room, where it was determined that the woman had died. Nearby, they found a replica handgun pellet pistol.

Speaking Thursday at a press conference, Chief Mark Neufeld of the Calgary Police Service said the situation that occurred Wednesday was “extremely dynamic” and unfolded quickly.

“I do want to acknowledge that a person died in this incident, and that person had a family and friends who today find themselves mourning the tragic loss of a loved one,” Neufeld said.

“On behalf of all of us at CPS, I extend my condolences to all of those who have been impacted by this incident.”

Neufeld said he was confident that officers conducted themselves appropriately in the course of the incident.

“There are times where, despite the best training, the best tactics, the best tools and even the very best of intentions, where a peaceful resolution isn’t to be,” he said.

“In these tense moments, the preservation of life for bystanders, and even the officers themselves, necessarily becomes the immediate priority.”

ASIRT said that as an investigation is ongoing, no further information will be released at this time.

The Nuvo Hotel is located at 827 12th Ave. S.W.

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