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Man dies following police shooting

Beth Brown
Northern News Services
Tuesday, December 20, 2016

A man is dead following a police shooting in Gjoa Haven.

NNSL photo/graphic

A 21-year-old Gjoa Haven man, who was reported as suicidal, was shot by police at the hamlet airport on Dec. 19 when he refused to relinquish a rifle. The man, identified as Charles Qirngnirq, died the same day. - NNSL file photo

On Dec. 19, RCMP responded to a complaint that Charles Qirngnirq, 21, was attending the airport armed with a rifle.

"Information received was that the individual may have been in a conflict with another person and was attempting to prevent that person from leaving the community," Sgt. David Lawson stated in a Dec. 20 release.

The two responding officers attempted to de-escalate the situation by directing the man to set down his weapon, but Qirngnirq failed to do so.

"Considering the risk to the officers and public's safety, (he) was shot and injured by an officer on the scene," stated Lawson.

Police recovered the weapon and Qirngnirq was taken into custody and transported to the local health center, in critical condition, according to a Dec. 19 release. He had been scheduled to be medevac'd for further treatment but died at around 6 p.m. that day in Gjoa Haven.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with the family, community of Gjoa Haven and the RCMP members involved during this difficult time," stated Lawson.

"The investigation is continuing with the assistance of the Ottawa Police Service and the Office of the Chief Coroner of Nunavut."

The review will be independent and the RCMP will give full cooperation, he stated.

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