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Girlfriend of man shot to death by Edmonton police claims officers used excessive force

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The girlfriend of a wanted man killed by police on Boxing Day in an Edmonton parking lot believes police used excessive force.

Buck Evans, 34, was shot by multiple officers around 2 p.m. last Wednesday after the truck he was riding in was stopped by police in the parking lot of the Urban Village condo complex.

‘We all bleed the same’

“I had to watch someone I love gunned down, when literally there could’ve been different ways of going about it,” ​ Melissa Dumais said in an interview with CBC News. “I just don’t see how it’s fair. We all bleed the same. We all feel the same.” 

Dumais said she has been consulting with a lawyer and plans to pursue litigation against the officers involved. 

“I hope that I can get the cops that did this to him, because I am going to be taking it to court,” Dumais said. “I have enough evidence that this was excessive force.

“It may make my life a living hell, in the end. So be it.” 

The Alberta Serious Incident Response Team (ASIRT), an independent provincial agency, is investigating the shooting. The organization investigates actions involving Alberta police that result in serious injury or death.

Edmonton police say Buck Evans had several outstanding warrants and was considered armed and dangerous. (Facebook)

In a statement released last week, ASIRT said Evans refused to get out of the truck when ordered to by police. ASIRT said Evans fired a gun before he was shot by the officers.

At the time, Evans was wanted in connection with an ongoing investigation and had outstanding warrants against him. Police believed he was armed and dangerous, and a tactical unit had been following the truck.

“Independent evidence gathered to date would suggest that the man was in possession of a firearm and that the firearm was, in fact, discharged by the man,” the ASIRT release said.

Dumais said she was in the truck with Evans and a friend on the day of the shooting. She said police stopped them and ordered her and their friend to get out of the truck.

After speaking to Evans, she got out and was arrested. Dumais said Evans had tears in his eyes when he spoke to her.

Edmonton police shot and killed a 34-year-old man Wednesday. ASIRT is still investigating. 1:03

She said when she got out of the truck, Evans was sitting in the backseat with his hands up.

“The gun was nowhere near his hands,” she said. “The driver had his hands up, I had my hands up. And Buck had his hands up.”

Dumais said she knew Evans had a gun when she got into the truck earlier that day.

“He knew what was coming,” said Dumais, who had been dating Evans for about two months. “He knew he was going to die that day.”

She said the gun was on the floor when she got out of the truck.

Video of the incident shows police vehicles surrounding a truck near the Urban Village condo complex in southeast Edmonton. A barrage of gunfire can be heard on the video.

“The amount of gunshots that I heard go off, it just goes to show that either way he was going to die that day,” Dumais said. “Whether he complied or he didn’t.”

Dumais was in handcuffs across the parking lot when the police began firing. The last time she saw Evans, he was being loaded into a stretcher. 

She said she knew he was dead. 

“Being handcuffed, there was nothing I could do,” she said. “You want to be there for the person you love. You want to be beside them when they take their last breath.”

Change in behaviour

Dumais said Evan’s demeanour had changed in the days leading up to his death. He seemed frantic and was constantly looking over his shoulder.

“He told me that he felt like something bad was going to happen,” she said. 

When she saw the gun in the truck, Dumais said, she questioned Evans about it. She described it as an SKS, a type of semi-automatic rifle.

“I seen that, and I instantly knew something was wrong.”

Dumais, who shared an apartment with Evans in the west end, said she did not know that he was wanted on outstanding warrants.

“I just want people to know that Buck wasn’t a monster that they portrayed him out to be. He had a good heart. He’s gone through a lot, but he’s still a good person at the end of it all.”

ASIRT did not respond to an inquiry from CBC News. It is not known when their final report on the shooting will be released.

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List of Tourist Attractions Open Now in Ottawa

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With Ontario now in Step 3 of 2021 three-step plan for reopening, museums and other indoor attractions are allowed to reopen with capacity limited to not exceed 50 per cent capacity indoors and 75 per cent capacity outdoors.

Here is a list of Ottawa attractions you can visit starting July 16th.

Do remember to wear masks and buy tickets in advance.

Parliament Hill

Parliament’s Centre Block and Peace Tower are closed for renovation.

You can join for tours of the Senate of Canada Building (2 Rideau Street), House of Commons at West Block (111 Wellington Street) on Parliament Hill, and East Block at East Block (111 Wellington Street) on Parliament Hill.

When: Grounds open; guided tours of Parliament are suspended through the summer of 2021.
Where: 111 Wellington Street, Downtown Ottawa

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Ottawa performer leapfrogs from gymnastics to Broadway to TV

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A new AppleTV+ series set in a magical town that’s stuck in a neverending 1940s musical includes a pair of Ottawa siblings in the cast. 

Warren Yang and his sister, Ericka Hunter, play two of the singing, dancing residents of the village portrayed in Schmigadoon!, a small-screen series that takes its cues from classic musicals like Brigadoon, Wizard of Oz and Sound of Music, and skewers them with the offbeat comedic mastery of Saturday Night Live. 

In fact, you’ll recognize many of the names from SNL, starting with executive producer Lorne Michaels, creator of the late-night, live-comedy sketch show. Schmigadoon! also stars SNL cast member Cecily Strong and comedian Keegan-Michael Key, who hosted SNL in May. They play a New York couple who get lost on a hike and stumble into a strange town where everyone sings and dances. 

For Yang, a relative newcomer to show-biz, the series marks his television debut. For Hunter, the younger of his two older sisters, it’s the latest in a career path that began with dance lessons as a child more than 30 years ago. She attended Canterbury High School, Ottawa’s arts-focused secondary school. 

“Her dream was always to perform,” said Yang, 34, in an interview. “But that was never the path I thought was an option for me.” 

While his sister studied dance, Yang did gymnastics. He was an elite gymnast throughout his youth, ultimately leaving Merivale High School at 16 to train in Montreal, finishing high school through correspondence courses. He was a member of the Canadian National Team and received a scholarship to study at Penn State, majoring in marketing. 

A few years after graduation, Yang was working at an advertising agency in Toronto when he got a call from a Manhattan number. To his astonishment, they asked if he would be interested in auditioning for a Broadway revival of Miss Saigon.

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COVID-19: uOttawa to require vaccination for students living in residence

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Vaccination will be mandatory for students who want to live in residence at the University of Ottawa this year, with proof of vaccination and at least one dose required before move-in, or within two weeks of doing so if they can’t secure a shot before arriving.

Those who can’t receive a vaccine for “health-related reasons or other grounds protected under the Ontario Human Rights Code” will be able to submit a request for accommodation through the university’s housing portal, according to information on the university’s website.

Students with one dose living in residence will also have to receive their second dose “within the timeframe recommended by Ottawa Public Health.”

People who haven’t been granted an exemption and don’t get vaccinated or submit proof of having done so by the deadlines set out by the school will have their residence agreements terminated, uOttawa warns.

“Medical and health professionals are clear that vaccination is the most (effective) means of protecting people and those around them,” reads a statement provided to this newspaper by uOttawa’s director of strategic communications, Patrick Charette.

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“It is precisely for this reason that the University of Ottawa is requiring all students living in residence for the 2021-2022 academic year to be fully vaccinated. The University recognizes that some students may require accommodations for a variety of reasons and will be treating exceptions appropriately.”

Faculty, staff and students are also strongly encouraged to get vaccinated, the statement notes.

“Ensuring a high vaccine coverage in all communities is critical to ensuring an ongoing decline in cases and ending the pandemic. This will be especially important with the return of students to post-secondary institutions in our region in the fall of 2021.”

Neither Carleton University nor Algonquin College is currently mandating vaccination for students living in residence, according to the websites for both schools. But uOttawa isn’t alone in its policy – Western University, Trent University, Durham College and Fanshawe College have all implemented similar requirements. Seneca College, in the GTA, is going even further, making vaccination mandatory for students and staff to come to campus, in-person, for the fall term.

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