A 21-year-old man wanted for the first-degree murder of a Calgary woman was killed and a Mountie was injured after shots were exchanged near Evansburg, Alta. on Thursday night, according to sources.
Adam Bettahar was wanted for first-degree murder in the death of 22-year-old Nadia El-Dib, who was found dead in the backyard of a home in Calgary’s Marlborough Park earlier this week.
Global News has learned a 59-year-old RCMP officer was airlifted to hospital in Edmonton, where he was listed in stable condition on Thursday evening.
Sources told Global News that a bullet grazed the officer’s head.
Shortly after 11 p.m., the RCMP said the injured officer was a member from its Evansburg detachment.
Police said an officer saw a man believed to be wanted on a Canada-wide warrant in Evansburg on Thursday afternoon. At about 5:15 p.m., “efforts were made to stop the male suspect in the vehicle he was driving. The male failed to stop for police and a pursuit ensued.”
RCMP said pursuit continued on Highway 16 between Evansburg and Entwistle, switching directions between eastbound and westbound multiple times. The two communities are about two kilometres apart, divided by the Pembina River.
Police tried to use a spike belt to stop the man, but he avoided it.
The pursuit then headed about 40 kilometres west to Nojack, where the suspect turned around. While headed back east, another spike belt was deployed and police said it was successful. The damaged vehicle continued until it came to a stop on Highway 16 at Highway 22, back near Entwistle.
“A confrontation occurred between the RCMP members and the male suspect, who was the sole occupant of the vehicle,” police said. “The male was injured fatally and the RCMP member suffered minor injuries.
STARS Air Ambulance confirmed a helicopter was responding to a scene call west of Evansburg near Highway 16 and Highway 22. Highway 16 was shut down in both directions west of Entwistle.
Shortly after 8:30 p.m., Alberta’s police watchdog tweeted it has “been directed to investigate an officer-involved shooting in the Evansburg area.”
The Alberta Serious Incident Response Team (ASIRT) said more details were to come.
ASIRT is called in to investigate any incident involving Alberta law enforcement agencies that result in serious injury or death.
Nadia’s sister Racha El-Dib said she was relieved to hear Bettahar is no longer on the loose.
“We hope Nadia is in peace and thank the community for their support.”
Nadia is remembered by her family as a young woman with an outgoing, bubbly personality who loved to make her family and friends laugh.
Nadia’s family said she and Bettahar were acquaintances.