WASECA — As the result of an investigation into drugs and weapons trafficking, a man has been fatally shot in the small community Waseca. An RCMP officer was injured in the gunfire exchange.
The name of the deceased has not been released, however RCMP identify him as a 33-year-old resident of the Lloydminster area.
Three others were taken into custody.
The Saskatchewan RCMP has requested the Ministry of Justice appoint an independent investigation observer in accordance with Section 91.1 of the Saskatchewan Police Act.
Following is the RCMP's release describing the incident:
“In October 2021, the Battlefords RCMP Gang Task Force began an investigation into drug and weapons trafficking in west-central Saskatchewan. Preliminary investigation determined cocaine, methamphetamine, fentanyl, and firearms were being trafficked in and around North Battleford.
“On Feb. 26, a search warrant was executed in relation to this investigation at 11:45 p.m. at a commercial property in Waseca.
“Based on information obtained during the investigation, officers believed there was a significant risk to public and police safety. Therefore, the Saskatchewan RCMP Critical Incident Response Team deployed to assist with the search warrant.
“During the execution of the search warrant in Waseca, officers determined there were four people in the commercial property. After negotiation and the use of non-lethal methods, two adult males and one adult female exited the building and were safely taken into custody.
“The fourth individual remained in the building and was not complying with police officer commands. This individual, an adult male, exited the building and continued to not comply with police officer commands. Officers used non-lethal methods to get the man to comply. The man displayed a firearm. Gunfire was exchanged and the man was fatally injured.
“The family of the deceased man, a 33-year-old male from the Lloydminster area, has been notified of his death.
“One RCMP officer is in hospital with what is believed to be a non life-threatening injury received during this incident. No further information will be provided about the officer’s injuries.
“When an incident results in death or serious injury, the RCMP Act – the legislation that governs the RCMP – requires that an investigation be conducted by an external agency. The Saskatchewan RCMP has requested the Saskatoon Police Service conduct the independent, external investigation into the circumstances surrounding the death.”
Assistant Commissioner Rhonda Blackmore – Saskatchewan RCMP Commanding Officer, says the Saskatchewan RCMP takes these matters seriously.
“We are giving the external investigators at the Saskatoon Police Service our full cooperation as they conduct an independent, external investigation into the circumstances surrounding what happened.”
She added, “My thoughts are with our injured officer, the community, and the family of the deceased.”
RCMP say there will be an increased police presence in Waseca and that, since the matter is now the subject of an external investigation, no further information can be provided at this time.
RCMP have also said the investigation into drug and weapons trafficking in and around North Battleford continues and updates will be provided as they become available.