CALGARY — A police officer was severely injured after a struggle with a man at a Calgary shopping mall on Saturday and used his service firearm to defend himself.
Calgary police say a suspect attacked the officer with a "large bladed weapon'' after police received reports of a fight at a nearby light rapid transit station.
"Injuries with respect to edged weapons, it's inches where it can be fatal and this officer showed extreme courage and restraint,'' acting chief Trevor Daroux told a news conference late Saturday.
A suspect fled before police arrived but an officer spotted the man hiding behind a dumpster.
Calgary police said an officer was hit with a machete on Saturday.
The suspect initially ran into the Marlborough shopping mall in the city's northeast, but turned to confront the officer with the weapon.
The officer first used his Taser, but it was ineffective so he discharged his service firearm, police said.
A police news release was unclear as to whether the suspect was wounded by a bullet only saying he was taken to hospital and is in stable condition.
The officer suffered severe injuries but is in stable condition, police said. Earlier Saturday Calgary EMS spokesman Nate Pike described the wounds as soft-tissue injuries and said they were not life threatening.
"There were kids playing around, like 50 yards away.''
Daroux said the suspect is known to police.
Jason Qian, who works in a store at the mall, said the incident happened at a Sears outlet.
He said normally the most trouble that happens at the mall is shoplifting and a violent incident was totally unexpected.
"It's a total surprise,'' he said. "There were kids playing around, like 50 yards away.''
Eli Kortia came after the incident to do some shopping at Sears and found it blocked off by police.
"It came as a surprise, I've not seen this at Sears ever before.''
Later Saturday afternoon, five police vehicles remained outside Sears. The store was closed off, but shopping continued in the rest of the mall.
A children's play area remained busy not far from the Sears entrance.
A handful of officers were milling about the entrance to Sears into Saturday evening. Other officers were apparently gathering evidence and taking photos outside in the parking lot.
The province's police watchdog, the Alberta Serious Incident Response Team, has been called in to review the incident.