Knife-wielding teen injured in officer-involved shooting sentenced

A teenage boy, who was shot by Lethbridge police during an incident in the fall of 2015, was sentenced Wednesday.

The young offender pleaded guilty late last year to assault and possession of a weapon dangerous to the public.

The 17-year-old , who is now 18, was granted a one-year conditional discharge.

The Crown asked for one-year probation, while defence lawyer Lisa Burgis Der countered with a conditional discharge.



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    “What the difference is, is for how long the authorities have access,” Burgis Der said. “In all cases it would be three years, but it’s when the three years starts is the difference between the discharge and probation. The discharge was successful. The access period started to run the day the plea was entered, back in November. If it had been probation, that access period would have started today.”

    The court heard that on the night of the incident the young man had been at a friend’s house for a birthday party. They were consuming alcohol and the party drug magic mushrooms.

    He started to show signs of bizarre behaviour, then kicked off his shoes and ran into the Westside Safeway.

    Witnesses said he was walking around in a daze before he approached a woman and grabbed her.

    He then went to the butcher counter, took a knife and left the store.

    Police found him walking down a west side street, and despite warnings, approached them with the knife.

    He was shot three times and taken to hospital. He is still recovering from the injuries.

    The Crown, defence and the judge agreed the behaviour was completely out of the young man’s character.

    “He experimented, as teens do, with an illegal substance, a more minor one, and he had a huge unusual reaction to it which blossomed into huge criminal consequences,” said Burgis Der.

    The teen addressed the court, saying: “I made a lot of bad decisions that day and put a lot of people at risk. I would like to apologize for my actions.”

    The judge said he believed the young man is remorseful, and it won’t happen again.

    The police officer who shot the teen has been cleared of any wrongdoing.