Whitehorse Daily Star

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Photo by Vince Fedoroff

ARMED MAN FATALLY SHOT – RCMP officers work at the Air North property last Thursday afternoon.

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Photo by Vince Fedoroff

ACCESS INVESTIGATED – The matter of how the gunman gained access to the secured Air North area has been referred to Transport Canada, says RCMP Supt. Scott Sheppard, seen at this morning’s news conference.

Altercation ensued after gunman entered premises

The man shot and killed last Thursday by police outside the Air North property had entered the Air North cargo building with a rifle, the RCMP’s Yukon commander told reporters this morning.

By Chuck Tobin on November 28, 2022

The man shot and killed last Thursday by police outside the Air North property had entered the Air North cargo building with a rifle, the RCMP’s Yukon commander told reporters this morning.

Supt. Scott Sheppard held a press conference to provide details of the incident.

The shooting occurred at the Air North property about two kilometres south of the Erik Nielsen Whitehorse International Airport terminal.

Sheppard said the RCMP received a call at 12:37 p.m. reporting a man with a gun was in the secured area of the Air North cargo building on Condor Road.

“Prior to the arrival of the police, the male with the gun, which we have now determined to be a non-prohibited and non-restricted long gun, gained access to the secured Air North compound. The matter of access to this area has been referred to Transport Canada,” Sheppard said.

“The individual, who was known to the employees, threatened them with the gun. An altercation occurred, during which time co-workers were able to call 911, who immediately dispatched police.

“Several officers responded, and the 40-year-old man was shot by an officer at 12:50 p.m.”

The commanding officer said specially trained officers immediately provided life-saving first aid, but the gunman died at about 1 p.m.

“There were multiple Air North employees present,” Sheppard told the news conference.

The deceased was a resident of Alberta who had worked in the Yukon with several employers, including Air North, Sheppard said.

Police will not be releasing his name at the request of the family, he added.

An autopsy has been scheduled for Nov. 30 in Abbotsford, B.C.

He said the deceased had had limited contact with the RCMP, explaining that limited contact meant his name was on file.

There are three investigations being conducted into the shooting; one by the local M Division attachment and another by the Alberta Serious Incident Response Team (ASIRT).

As the shooting occurred so near the runway, Transportation Canada is also conducting an investigation, Sheppard explained.

The team from Alberta arrived Friday and left Sunday.

The Yukon government has an agreement with the Alberta team to provide independent investigations into serious incidents that occur in the Yukon.

Sheppard said Yukon victim services staff are providing assistance to officers involved as well as employees of Air North.

The main airport and the terminal remained open during the incident, as it occurred some distance from the terminal.

Sheppard said many scenes have been forensically examined and have been released.

“The Yukon RCMP would like to acknowledge the exemplary co-operation of Air North as we continue our criminal investigation,” Sheppard said.

“The impact of this serious incident touches many people in this community-minded company across our small territory.

“This has been a challenging year with the number of police-involved critical incidents in the territory. The resulting impacts on the communities we serve are noticeable.

“I would like to thank the RCMP officers and employees from the Yukon, including our dispatchers, for their professionalism and dedication. I remain very proud to get to work with all of you,” Sheppard said.

He also thanked Transport Canada and Yukon government partner agencies, including the Emergency Measures Services, the Emergency Measures Office and the Yukon Coroner’s Service.

Comments (26)

Up 49 Down 4

Roy on Dec 1, 2022 at 2:39 pm

@ Michael - "it’s very sad that there was very little time between the call to the police and the fatal shot"

I'm glad the police responded quickly and prevented any innocent harm - there is no one left saying "hey the cops were there and then people got hurt - why didn't the police prevent this?!"

What you should have said was:
It's very sad this person decided to threateningly show up at his former place of employment with a firearm.
Sad for the staff who were traumatized. Sad for the RCMP officers who had to respond and themselves be traumatized in order to keep the public safe.

There are ZERO excuses for what that guy did. Had this person harmed an innocent staff member or RCMP member this would have been a tragedy.
Instead the RCMP did their job and we are left with armchair quarterbacks questioning the cops about their timing.

How about instead you question "Why did this guy decide to wield a firearm and confront and terrorize members of the public and police? "

Up 48 Down 3

Werner Rhein on Dec 1, 2022 at 2:11 pm

Showing up with a gun in public, and on top pointing it at people is no good.
The French police have a cure for this since the mass shootings and terrorist acts. For some time now.

If you show up in public with a gun, you will be shot as fast as possible, Not many questions asks, and no name will be published, to eventually produce Martyrs.
It reduced these acts dramatically. Bravo France.

Up 39 Down 1

melba on Dec 1, 2022 at 1:51 pm

I would not try 'de-escalation' with a person who entered a place of work, started fighting with employees and pulled out a gun. No way. Too much risk that he wasn't just going to stick with hitting people with his fists, and that the gun wasn't brought along just for show. Also, we don't know what he was saying and whether he had already tried to aim his gun at people but wasn't able to. I'm not second guessing the police action one bit. If an innocent person got killed, you'd be saying, "Ever tried taking action? Can't believe you were there and let him shoot someone!"

Up 15 Down 11

Factoid on Dec 1, 2022 at 12:16 pm

@Good Guy With a Gun

Your comment is so misinformed and pretentious it does not deserve any formal debate on any page.
I would consider it troll status.
Do yourself a favor and get your self educated on the facts before posting comments on public forums.

Up 27 Down 7

Michael on Dec 1, 2022 at 11:29 am

I knew the person personally for 10 years through work and personal friendship , he was a very quiet generous friendly guy and have never experienced him being violent in that time knowing him, he previously worked with Chieftain Energy as a truck driver and know he had issues with certain members of staff and was pursuing them through legal avenues, but he never told me exactly what went on, he could be a private person but certainly no recluse.
People will make their on conclusions as to the type of person he was, and I will never condone what he did, but he presented a case with certain legal entities in Alberta regarding the company and certain employees and maybe some sort of inquest or inquiry will uncover the truth, it’s very sad that there was very little time between the call to the police and the fatal shot, but only the police and bodycam if worn can tell the truth of what happened.

Up 22 Down 9

Groucho d'North on Dec 1, 2022 at 8:08 am

Well he won't do it again,

Up 23 Down 44

Good Guy With a Gun on Nov 30, 2022 at 10:04 pm

Gun advocates always say that they are the most law abiding people in the country and that guns used in crime are always illegal ones smuggled across the border. Well unless I am missing something, this guy was using a legal gun to threaten former co-workers and the police.

So I guess, just like the Faro murders, this again demonstrates that many legal gun owners DO commit crimes with their firearms.
I can only imagine the howling my comment here will cause, but it is what it is.

Up 2 Down 4

Max Mack on Nov 30, 2022 at 6:35 pm


Up 17 Down 33

Guncache on Nov 30, 2022 at 5:02 pm

A whole 13 minutes from the phone call to the person lying dead on the ground. Do they not try using de escalation?

Up 29 Down 15

No obligation to publish his name on Nov 30, 2022 at 3:33 pm

If he had survived, and been charged with a crime, his name would have been published. But he didn't survive, and it was nothing like the situation in Nova Scotia (or Clifford Olson, sheesh). So let it rest, for heaven's sake, and be thankful no one else was injured. Can you imagine his family getting that call? Maybe have a bit of sympathy for them.

Up 51 Down 9

Juniper Jackson on Nov 30, 2022 at 2:08 pm

I am sorry that a man took a gun to the airport..I'm sorry he then made a conscious choice to point it at others, I'm sorry that the RCMP didn't have their ''mind reader' with them to read the shooters mind. I really glad this shooter was put to rest before any physical harm was done to anyone but the shooter. Lots of emotional stress. It's not as easy as one would think to take a life..I hope the RCMP recovers as well as all the families and loved ones involved.

Up 25 Down 32

Laur on Nov 30, 2022 at 8:43 am

It's always the same thing , What's their name, we demand to know who it is .
Whatever your excuse is for having to know is crap, you're all just friggin nosy .

Up 16 Down 26

Josey Wales on Nov 30, 2022 at 4:16 am

Hard to convey a virtuous lisp via font, but...

Fear not comrades/subjects, very very soon all guns will be illegal and using Liberal logic 😂...the gun crime will cease.
As y’all know, violent repeat offenders let outta their cages early if ever housed in one...ALWAYS follow the law.
Did Clifford Olsons family know they coulda “requested” the monsters name be...withheld?
Now that other potential POS know this, the shame felt by the families of the perpetrators of crime will be mitigated now too.

Name withheld for a alleged potentially violent criminal POS? 🤯

Up 20 Down 40

Max Mack on Nov 29, 2022 at 10:36 pm

I am glad no one else was physically hurt.
But, I am somewhat dismayed at the number of comments and thumbs up, effectively cheering this man's death at the hands of the RCMP.

The article states that there was an altercation between the man and employees, and that the employees were able to call 911. During this critical and emotionally intense time, the man did not shoot anyone.

Questions . . .

Up 32 Down 37

Shame on Nov 29, 2022 at 11:35 am

So much for protecting victims. The victims at Air North and the victims across the entire community.

It’s unprecedented that the perpetrator has more rights than the victims and having his name protected. Obviously he’s connected to Yukon ‘royalty’ if they are protecting his identity.

Up 40 Down 4

Chuck Farley on Nov 28, 2022 at 9:29 pm

Let us know; this incident was captured by the media as it was unfolding;

Up 37 Down 18

bonanzajoe on Nov 28, 2022 at 8:21 pm

Let us know on Nov 28, 2022: To answer your question, we have no investigative reporters up here. The have to wait till outside gets the serious news to send up to them.

Up 49 Down 6

Google is right there on Nov 28, 2022 at 7:32 pm

Hey "Let us know" . I'm sorry that you missed all of it, but there were quite a few notifications about the incident when it happened. I heard about it on the radio when they asked people to stay clear. Not sure what else you're expecting.

I'm so glad everyone at Air North are okay. What a scary situation.

Up 70 Down 6

melba on Nov 28, 2022 at 7:16 pm

It's a good thing the staff at Air North were able to deal with this person until the police got there, and that the police arrived quickly. I don't blame them one bit for shooting the person, who had a gun and was fighting with people who were at work serving their community. Too bad we are not finding out who it was and what his story was. That might be educational for all of us.

Anyway, what a relief that no one got killed except for the person who showed up with a gun. This could have been a really bad scene.

Up 78 Down 9

WhitehorseStorm on Nov 28, 2022 at 6:01 pm

Many thanks for the swift response of the Whitehorse RCMP to prevent this situation from escalating further.
Witnessing the contingent of RCMP officers responding helped calm our office.

The RCMPs focus on our well being afterwards was appreciated, and shows they truly are focused on maintaining the well being of our communit
Thank-you to all RCMP members for your support!

Up 28 Down 65

Politico on Nov 28, 2022 at 5:47 pm

Amazing, call to the RCMP at 1:37 to the 911 call centre I presume. Alleged shooter dead at 1:50. Lots of time for d-escalation!

Up 21 Down 54

Damien Langkow on Nov 28, 2022 at 4:56 pm

Oh great. Trudeau is going to make hunting rifles illegal now. Or will he make police side arms illegal being as they're the ones who shot?

Up 64 Down 18

Hmmm on Nov 28, 2022 at 4:37 pm

Since when is it the job of the RCMP to protect the name of the offenders?
As far as the police keeping people in the dark, we saw how well that all played out in the Nova Scotia shootings it cost a half dozen more lives.

Trust is a 2 way street and the RCMP have a long way to go earning the trust of Yukoners. Letting the rumour mill run communications is counter productive.

Up 102 Down 47

Let us know on Nov 28, 2022 at 3:47 pm

I’m curious to why the public is not notified until days later?

Remember when there was a shooting along the highway near liard hot springs back in 2019? It was in the Australian news before it was in the Local news, then it turned into the Canada wide man hunt, Only then we were notified.

I’m curious to why everything is a secret up here?

Up 136 Down 10

BnR on Nov 28, 2022 at 3:06 pm

Play stupid games, win stupid prizes
Thank goodness no AN employees or RCMP members were injured.

Up 51 Down 77

My Opinion on Nov 28, 2022 at 2:40 pm

Drug addled brains I would guess. Two shootings by the cops in a very short time. Says something about our little sty doesn’t it? It’s scary out there people.

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