Whitehorse Daily Star

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Photo by Vince Fedoroff

THE SCENE OF THE VIOLENCE – The house on Centennial Street is surrounded by yellow RCMP tape after Wednesday evening’s shooting incident.

‘Our thoughts are with the officer and his family’

An RCMP officer involved in Wednesday night’s shooting in Porter Creek remains in hospital in critical but stable condition, says Scott Sheppard, the commanding officer for the Yukon RCMP’s M Division.

By Chuck Tobin on September 30, 2022

An RCMP officer involved in Wednesday night’s shooting in Porter Creek remains in hospital in critical but stable condition, says Scott Sheppard, the commanding officer for the Yukon RCMP’s M Division.

The suspect, Sheldon Lawrence Keobke, 35, of Whitehorse, also remains in hospital with serious injuries. He has been transferred to a medical facility outside the territory.

The incident occurred at the house located at the corner of Centennial Street and 14th Avenue at approximately 7:30 p.m. The corner lot remained surrounded by police tape this morning, with police vehicles posted outside.

The officer was shot during the pursuit of Keobke, as was Keobke.

Officers immediately transitioned to providing emergency medical procedures to both men.

Sheppard provided a lengthy statement to the media Thursday afternoon but acknowledged he would not be able to answer questions because the investigation is ongoing.

The commanding officer, for instance, said he could not say who shot first, as that will be determined by the investigation.

The Alberta Serious Incident Response Team has been engaged by the Department of Justice to conduct an independent investigation. Team members were en route to the territory yesterday.

The arrest involved several branches of the M Division as well as officers from B.C. and the Northwest Territories.

Sheppard said Keobke has been known to police for a long time but they were unsuccessful in apprehending him over several weeks for allegedly breaching a court order.

Police also believed him to be armed, and a high-risk, prolific offender, he said.

At one traffic stop, Sheppard explained, Keobke bolted from the scene in his vehicle at a high speed.

Officers did not pursue because they did not want to create any danger that might arise from a high-speed chase.

On Wednesday evening in Porter Creek, “when police officers approached Mr. Keobke to arrest him, he fled on foot and approached another officer conducting perimeter security in the area,” Sheppard told reporters during Thursday’s press conference at RCMP headquarters.

“At this time, an incident occurred, and as a result, an officer of the Yukon RCMP was shot and sustained serious injuries. The subject was also shot and sustained serious injuries.

“The subject was taken into custody and members of the Emergency Response Team immediately provided lifesaving first aid to both the injured officer and the subject. Both were then transported to the Whitehorse General Hospital where they received medical care.

“Several other people at the residence in Porter Creek where the warrant had been executed were also taken into custody. They were subsequently released without charges.”

  • Keobke has been charged with:

  • Failing to comply with a release order condition;

  • Resisting or obstructing a police officer;

  • Attempted murder with a firearm;

  • Possession of a weapon for a dangerous purpose;

  • Unauthorized possession of a restricted weapon;

  • Weapons possession contrary to an order; and

  • Possession of a loaded restricted weapon.

Sheppard did not disclose the type of firearm Keobke had in his possession. but handguns are restricted weapons, just as sawed-off shotguns are restricted weapons.

“The injuries experienced by the police officer are serious,” Sheppard said.

“He is receiving medical attention as well, with his family by his side. Our thoughts are with the officer and his family.

“Resources are in place to also support the mental health and well-being of this officer and other police officers and RCMP employees involved in this shooting.”

Justice Minister Tracy-Anne McPhee emphasized in a statement Thursday afternoon that her government supports the RCMP and the important work they do.

“I express my sincere thanks to all members of the RCMP M Division and the officers from British Columbia and Northwest Territories for their professionalism and dedication during the critical incident,” the minister said.

McPhee was in the room Thursday to observe the press conference but did not say anything.

She noted in her statement the Alberta Serious Incident Response Team independently and objectively investigates incidents involving police that have resulted in serious injury or death to any person.

Sheppard said because Keobke was noted as a high-risk offender, and was believed to be armed, M Division invoked its critical incident program to facilitate the arrest.

The critical incident program included resources from the Yukon Emergency Response Team, Yukon RCMP Crime Reduction Unit, Federal Investigations Unit, Police Dog Section and the Whitehorse Detachment.

Emergency Response Team officers from the Northwest Territories and British Columbia also attended to provide support.

Sheppard declined to get into the specific details of the arrest.

At the time, or shortly after the shooting, for instance, two RCMP vehicles were parked on Pine Street, several blocks from Centennial and 14th.

“I would like to thank the RCMP officers and employees from British Columbia, the Northwest Territories and the Yukon for their professionalism and dedication,” said Sheppard.

“I am very proud to get to work with all of you. Please bear with us over the coming days, as this investigation is ongoing, and there may be a delay in our ability to respond, depending on the seriousness of the call.

“To report any incident that requires urgent/emergency attendance by police, please call 911.

“At this point, the crime scenes have been secured and evidence is being collected. The Yukon RCMP Major Crimes Unit has taken over the investigation, and will be assisted by Whitehorse RCMP Detachment, the Federal Investigations Unit, the Forensic Identification Unit, and B.C. RCMP Major Crimes.

“All of our available resources will continue ensuring public safety as we follow up on this investigation and provide policing services to Whitehorse and the Yukon.”

A Whitehorse RCMP officer was last shot in the 1990s, during an incident in Marwell. His injuries were not fatal.

Comments (16)

Up 35 Down 1

drum on Oct 3, 2022 at 9:07 pm

The house on Centennial and 14th where the suspect was found has been known for many years as a booltlegger and drug dealer place. (We all Know) Why is it still allowed to exist????????

Up 34 Down 0

Good luck with that! on Oct 3, 2022 at 11:50 am

At The Other Dave on Oct 2, 2022 at 11:01 am:

Judges have “judicial independence” which protects them from any liability for the consequences of their decisions. They also have the ability to determine what is fact and not fact in their “judgment”.

However, judicial independence is supposed to be a two way street - It is also supposed to protect the public from otherwise, poor decision-making, but this fact is almost always ignored.

The Crown is supposed to be a part of this ‘review’ process and appeal bad decisions - The decisions that threaten to bring the administration of Justice into disrepute. However, in a system that does not have infinite monetary and Human Resources the Crown must consider a cost benefit analysis on whether to pursue such a course of action.

And, if they do they will likely appeal the matter only to find that appeals courts are loathe to overturn lower court decisions - So, you tend to get a rubber stamping of lower court decisions with some meaningless word play.

Up 47 Down 15

bonanzajoe on Oct 3, 2022 at 11:29 am

@Pierre: "at what point does the public say we’ve had enough." When Stephen Harper was Prime Minister, he legislated a law that would give anyone with an illegal hand gun an automatic 3 years in jail. The lefty judges didn't like that and Justin Trudeau repealed it when he became PM. JT legislated a law that would force the police to take away legal weapons from the decent law abiding citizens. But he isn't forcing the police to take the criminals illegal weapons. The people voted him PM. So, I guess it will be a long time before the public has had enough.

Up 14 Down 4

JC on Oct 2, 2022 at 9:42 pm

Josey

Oh, this guy was caught at the Centre for Hope? News to me...

Up 20 Down 34

JC on Oct 2, 2022 at 9:39 pm

"People buy drugs"

"Stop doing drugs"

Sweet Christmas, do you even hear yourself? What kind of apparatus do you think you would need to make people (and yes, you would have to *force* people) stop doing drugs?

Literally impossible. The only way to undermine drug dealers is legalization and safe supply. You can hate it, if you choose. Your prerogative. But that's the only real way to make drug dealers disappear: disappear their incentives.

Up 62 Down 1

My Opinion on Oct 2, 2022 at 6:14 pm

So does anyone else recognize that House? The old guy that owns that is a notorious Bootlegger and Drug dealer for the last 30 years at least maybe more. He has never had a job. Several years ago he was caught in SCAN raid for selling to minors and lord knows what else he was doing to those minors.

This has to stop. The Police know, or should know what is going on at this house. Why does it continue? Why is he not in jail? This guy is just a microcosm of what goes on there.

We do not have a Justice System, we have a Legal System. It is about employing a bloated bureaucracy that considers these people Clients. Yes that is what they call them.

Up 30 Down 15

Juniper Jackson on Oct 2, 2022 at 1:00 pm

I could not say anything better than the posters have already said. Just writing in to support their comments and views. I particularly 'enjoy' Josey Wales turn of phrase. You sure get your point across.

Up 45 Down 17

Nathan Living on Oct 2, 2022 at 12:22 pm

There are drug dealers because people buy drugs. Legalizing pot has not stopped drug use.

Let's stop drug dealers by taking away the market, stop doing drugs.

Up 49 Down 3

The Other Dave on Oct 2, 2022 at 11:01 am

You know, if any other professional through their act or omission caused someone to be hurt or killed they could be charged with criminal negligence. The judge or parole board who set this person free into the community should also be charged with criminal negligence causing bodily harm. A civil suit should also be launched against them for damages.

Up 64 Down 3

Pierre on Oct 2, 2022 at 10:11 am

Failing to comply with a release order condition…this should be a primary investigation by the Star on how many violent offenders are out on conditions that they never abide by. This guy is well well known to police and has been charged multiple times YET cannot be held behind bars…at what point does the public say we’ve had enough.

Up 44 Down 1

Jeff Donaldson on Oct 1, 2022 at 9:22 pm

I speedy recovery for the PC!
Thank you for your service!

Up 65 Down 3

Groucho d'North on Oct 1, 2022 at 10:00 am

I am waiting to hear the penalties for the various gun charges. It's a big deal when illegal guns are on the street, but when in the justice system for violating these laws- not so much.

Up 46 Down 18

Josey Wales on Oct 1, 2022 at 8:30 am

Hey JayWrent...great wish, but in Canada?
Depends entirely on what race it is, how it may identify.
I think they even took the turnstiles outta the courtroom as they were too oppressive and upsetting. I think now they have a points card, and depending on how many points one may have due to frequency will dictate your service received. Now that system of “just us” will clearly have different client cards for reasons stated above.
...now that turnstile has an automatic door that depending on points will open upon the card being present...like Bluetooth.

The savage in SK that went on his stabfest is just one mere example of many many recidivists breeding like bacteria and incubated by our “just us system”.
Be interesting if LEO started suing judges for the work place injuries they do experience when...re arranging chairs on the deck of the Titanic sinking in this red/orange sea of virtue and political correctness.

Yet to search this perpetrator history, and feel when I do?
Cookie cutter daily example of precisely what I speak of.
In the media we are bombarded with how LEO should act like perfect lil robots, should respect everything about those they interact with, never show their human side...like ever?
But oddly enough never here those same folks never suggest how we act in society, what public behaviour is not cool etc.
Frankly given the atmosphere, I am mystified as to why anyone chooses LE as an option.
That said, glad many make that choice and hope the choice was made for the right reasons.
M thanks for putting heat on those who dole out poison, and hope your member heals and can carry on.
We should never let criminals alleged or convicted run, or ruin our communities...but boy O boy do we ever do exactly that.
Yeah Centre of Hopelessness looking right at ya.

Up 96 Down 5

Jc on Oct 1, 2022 at 7:27 am

The legal system is failing us all. This Sheldon guy was arrested in 2018. Look it up online. He was given bail. He breached his bail conditions. He kept doing what he was doing, selling crack and buying handguns. He knows the legal system is soft. He knows the RCMP can only arrest him only to be let out the next day. The RCMP officer that was shot should sue the Crown. The criminal justice system is geared towards protecting criminals, not the public.

Up 85 Down 9

bonanzajoe on Sep 30, 2022 at 6:36 pm

'Justice Minister Tracy-Anne McPhee emphasized in a statement Thursday afternoon that her government supports the RCMP and the important work they do." McPhee, if you really mean this, then see that these criminals don't walk our streets. This man should have been in jail doing time for his past crimes. Its apparent that you support the perps over law enforcement.

Up 178 Down 8

JayWrent on Sep 30, 2022 at 4:01 pm

There is always danger, there are always predators. I salute the officer and wish for a life sentence -without parole- for this perpetrator.

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