CALGARY, Alta. - Calgary's police chief says a 27-year-old woman who was shot and killed by a police officer on Tuesday was known to police.
Roger Chaffin says officers were called to a home in the city's southwest at about 2:30 a.m. to check out a welfare call.
Police say a woman was seen banging on nearby cars and the front door of an apartment in the area.
The Alberta Serious Incident Response Team, which looks into police actions, says the woman was carrying two knives, one in each hand.
It says there was a confrontation between police and the woman, and one of the officers shot at her.
Calgary police say the officer has been on the force for one year.
She was in life-threatening condition when she was taken to hospital, where she died.
Calgary police have shot 10 people this year. Five have died.
Chaffin said he believes the officer who fired acted appropriately.
“The members involved in this incident have my full and complete support,” said Chaffin. “From the information I am given, I am firmly of the belief that this member acted appropriately to protect herself, her partner and members of the public.”
Chaffin said police are seeing a lot of crime and erratic behaviour tied to drugs.
“So much of the crime we’re experiencing has to do with the presence of methamphetamine, the presence of opioids in the city and then ... the motives for crimes around those drugs," he said.
"Heavy, heavy addiction, without the right kind of treatments, that forces people into crime to support that drug can be a big problem.”
Chaffin said officers do not want to shoot people, but must protect themselves.
“We're not hiring soldiers. We’re hiring people who are very reflective of what it is to be Calgarians and you can imagine ... having to make that decision, what that’ll do to you as well,” he said.
"We want our officers to make reasonable decisions, to be prepared for those decisions, but all based on the merits that they’re faced with at that time.”
Chaffin said a proposal has also been put forward for an independent review of the shootings involving Calgary police officers.
ASIRT is investigating and is asking anyone with information to contact the unit at 403-592-4306.
Last Thursday, ASIRT cleared Calgary police of any wrongdoing in a shooting that left a man permanently disabled and in a wheelchair.
Susan Hughson, the team's executive director, has said it's concerning the city has had more shootings this year than any other major city in Canada.