Whitehorse, Yukon – Thank you for joining me here today. My name is Scott Sheppard and I am the Commanding Officer of the RCMP’s “M” Division here in the Yukon.
I am here today to provide an update on yesterday’s critical incident in the Porter Creek area of Whitehorse, Yukon. I will also provide you with important information about the preceding police investigation. As this is an ongoing police investigation, please note that there will likely be some questions that I am not in a position to answer.
On September 28, at approximately 7:30 p.m., police attended a residence in the Porter Creek neighbourhood of Whitehorse in order to execute an arrest warrant on Sheldon Keobke. Mr. Keobke was the subject of a warrant and was considered a high-risk prolific offender, police believed him to be armed. Previous attempts to take the subject into custody had been unsuccessful with the individual taking dangerous actions to evade police, so the critical incident program or CIP was set up to facilitate the arrest. The CIP included resources from the Yukon RCMP Emergency Response Team, Yukon RCMP Crime Reduction Unit, Federal Investigations Unit, Police Dog Section, and Whitehorse Detachment. Emergency Response Team officers from the Northwest Territories and British Columbia also attended to provide support.
When police officers approached Mr. Keobke to arrest him, he fled on foot and approached another officer conducting perimeter security in the area. 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.
The Alberta Serious Incident Response Team has been consulted. ASIRT’s mandate is to effectively, independently and objectively investigate incidents involving police that have resulted in serious injury or death to any person, as well as serious or sensitive allegations of police misconduct, and are contracted to investigate these files in the Yukon. ASIRT has been formally engaged by the Department of Justice -Assistant Deputy Minister and are enroute to the Territory to investigate police actions.
Sheldon Lawrence Keobke, age 35 of Whitehorse, is charged with the following offences:
Fail to comply with release order condition, Section 145(5)(a) Criminal Code – 3 counts
Resist/Obstruct peace officer, Section 129(a) Criminal Code
Attempted murder with firearm, Section 239(1)(a) Criminal Code
Possession of weapon for dangerous purpose, Section 88(2) Criminal Code
Unauthorized possession of a restricted weapon, Section 91(3) Criminal Code
Weapons possession contrary to order, Section 117.01(3) Criminal Code
Possession of loaded restricted firearm, Section 95(2) Criminal Code
Resists/obstructs peace officer, Section 129(a) Criminal Code
Mr. Keobke is being treated for his injuries and more details will be provided as this investigation is ongoing.
The injuries experienced by the police officer are serious. 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 wellbeing of this officer and other police officers and RCMP employees involved in this shooting.
One of our goals in enacting the critical incident program to arrest Mr. Keobke was to minimize the risk to the public when taking him into custody. I am proud, as are the officers involved in this arrest, that we were able to ensure the safety of the public. We appreciate the cooperation and assistance from residents in the Porter Creek area as this incident unfolded
I would like to thank the RCMP officers and employees from British Columbia, the Northwest Territories and the Yukon for their professionalism and dedication. I am very proud to get to work with all of you. Please bare 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 BC 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.
Thank you for your time today.
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