Calgary, February 20: A man, who was fatally shot by a Calgary police officer on Saturday, was not an aggressive person and was struggling with mental issues, his loved ones say.
Latjor Tuel died following an altercation with police where he allegedly attacked a police service dog with a weapon.
Police say they were called to the scene, near 45 Street and 17 Avenue S.E., for reports of an armed individual.
When police arrived, officials said they attempted to de-escalate the situation but it resulted in the need to use lethal force to subdue the suspect.
“Life-saving efforts were attempted, however, the man was pronounced deceased at the scene,” officials said in a release.
Nyakuon Tut, Latjor’s sister, is distraught by the loss. “He is my big brother. They shot him like a dog. He was a good person.”
Witnesses at the scene say the officer shot Tuel four times as he advanced on the officer and the service dog.
“It’s terrible, it’s devastating, this thing happening in my business. I feel so bad,” said witness Baras Marwaha.
Others say while he was armed, he didn’t have a gun.
“He wasn’t trying to hurt anybody,” said Johnny Walker. “He was upset and that’s all it was.”
Tut, as well as several members of the Sudanese community that knew him, said Tuel was the one who needed help and likely suffered from mental health issues.
“The guy needed assistance,” said Andrew Diet. “They needed to help, not to shoot him.”
“My brother, he had a problem with his mind. He talks up all the time,” Tut said.
“I don’t know why the police killed him. He didn’t do anything – he’s not a killer.”