Kinngait, Nunavut – On the early evening of February 26, 2020, Kinngait RCMP received a report of a assault in progress. It was reported, a male was seen dragging a female by her hair as she was screaming for help. A short time later, a second call was received advising police the male, later identified as Attachie Ashoona was now inside a residence fighting with his father.
Police attended the residence and spoke with the father who had blood on his face and appeared to have been engaged in a fight. As police were gathering details to determine what occurred, Mr. Ashoona was heard yelling from inside the residence saying he was getting a knife. The officers did not know if the female who had been reported as being dragged was inside the residence. The two responding officers entered the residence and found Mr. Ashoona holding a knife in his hand, raised above his shoulder. Mr. Ashoona told the officers he was going to kill them and to shoot him and proceeded to move toward the officers. Both officers had their service pistols drawn and gave commands such as “drop the knife” and “police stop” with no effect.
The first officer moved away to get out of Mr. Ashoona’s path and the second officer was able to get out of the residence safely. Mr. Ashoona turned and went towards the first officer while making stabbing motions with his hand holding the knife. The officer continued to give commands for Mr. Ashoona to stop while walking backwards. The officer was in a corner and unable to back up any further with Mr. Ashoona moving forward and within 3 feet. The officer discharged their pistol twice striking Mr. Ashoona.
Mr. Ashoona was provided with immediate medical care and health centre staff was immediately requested. Unfortunately he was pronounced deceased by medical staff once on scene.
Ottawa Police Service conducted an independent investigation into the actions of the officer and the Nunavut Coroner Services will be conducting an inquest into his death. “This was a difficult situation for the Ashoona family, the police officers involved and Mr. Ashoona who lost his life. Our thoughts are with the community of Kinngait and all affected by this event,” said C/Supt. Amanda Jones, Commanding Officer, RCMP V Division.
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