WARNING: Readers may find some details in this story disturbing
SASKATCHEWAN – A family is mourning after a father of four was shot and killed by police in Waseca Feb. 27.
Trent Angus was shot and killed by RCMP after police raided a commercial building executing a search warrant in the tiny village of Waseca, approximately 42 kilometres east of Lloydminster, at 11:45 p.m. on Feb. 26.
According to police, the Battlefords RCMP Gang Task Force executed the search warrant at the industrial property along Highway 16 on the Yellowhead following a four-month investigation into drug and weapons trafficking in west-central Saskatchewan. Police say that cocaine, methamphetamine, fentanyl, and firearms were being trafficked in and around North Battleford.
Two services are being held for 33-year-old Trent Byron Angus with a wake on Tuesday and a funeral on Thursday, both on Onion Lake Cree Nation.
Trent Angus’ older sister Lori-Ann Angus told SASKTODAY.ca on Tuesday that they have to have a closed casket service due to his injuries.
“We all just broke down and cried. My brother didn’t deserve to lose his life in such a way. They didn’t have to do that.”
RCMP say that based on information, they believed there was a significant risk to the public and police safety so the Saskatchewan RCMP Critical Incident Response Team was deployed to assist with the search warrant. Two men and one woman exited the building but a fourth person stayed inside and wouldn’t comply with police commands, according to the RCMP. When he exited the building he still wouldn’t comply with police commands so they used non-lethal methods to get him to comply but officers saw him display a firearm and gunfire was exchanged, according to police. An RCMP officer received a non life-threatening injury during the incident.
At the time of his death, Trent Angus was wanted by Cut Knife RCMP for a firearms complaint on Little Pine First Nation on Nov. 28, 2021. Police issued a warrant for his arrest and charged him with discharging a firearm, pointing a firearm, possession of a firearm knowing unauthorized, and failing to comply with a release order.
The day after the shooting Trent’s mother heard on the news that there was an incident at an industrial building in Waseca. Knowing her son’s shop was there, she called the police and that’s how she found out her son was killed, said Lori-Ann Angus.
“I wonder when they would have told us if my mom hadn’t called.”
She also said the police promised to come to their mother’s home to speak with the family but never showed.
“They said they were gonna come and talk to the family at my mom's place. We waited there all day. Nobody showed up to come and try and tell us what happened.”
The RCMP Act requires that an investigation be conducted by an external agency when an incident involves a death or serious injury so the Saskatchewan RCMP requested the Saskatoon Police Service conduct the independent, external investigation into the circumstances surrounding the death.
Saskatoon Police Service is currently conducting the investigation into the incident.
“Our investigation will be broad in nature and will include actions beyond the incident itself, such as next of kin notification and the utilization of victims services,” said Alyson Edwards, director, public relations and strategic communications for Saskatoon Police Service.
“The findings will be released once the investigation is completed and reviewed by the Crown.”
Lori-Ann Angus said Trent Angus’ passion was working on vehicles at his shop in Waseca.
“He was always working on vehicles at the shop there. That's what he liked doing, working on vehicles and fixing vehicles. And that's where he was that night when they went there and snuck up on him.”
Lori-Ann Angus remembers her brother as a “really nice person.”
“He was a really good father to his kids. He loved those kids so much.”
Trent Angus was a father of four with a fifth baby on the way. The day before he was shot, Lori-Ann Angus said he spent it with his children and they are now inconsolable.
“It's really sad because his son is 10 years old. He's just broken-hearted. You wouldn't even believe how broken he is. He's just…it's just so sad. Seeing him just breaks my heart because I just cry all day when I look at him.”
Lori-Ann Angus said added distress was placed on the family by how they perceive the police treated them.
“They didn’t even notify the family. My mom had to call.”
“We don’t have confidence in the police,” said Trent Angus’s cousin Darryl Angus. “When police investigate police nothing comes of it. They protect their own.”
Darryl Angus, who worked in the Saskatchewan justice system in restorative justice, and worked on the commission on First Nations and Metis Peoples and Justice Reform, said “Collectively, First Nations, Metis and Inuit right across Canada, and the U.S. American Indians, have the similar feelings, we don’t trust policing whatsoever.”