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Ponoka RCMP release name of suspect in officer-involved shooting near courthouse

The incident occurred on Feb. 10, 2022
Imitation firearm recovered from the incident scene. (ASIRT photo)

RCMP are now releasing the name of the suspect who allegedly approached the Ponoka RCMP detachment on Feb. 10, 2022, waving what appeared to be a handgun.

During a confrontation with police near the Ponoka court house, the male was shot in an officer-involved shooting. An imitation firearm was recovered from the scene.

On May 19, West Thomas Aldridge, 40, of Ponoka, was arrested and charged with possession of a weapon for a purpose dangerous to the public peace.

On the day of the incident, witnesses in the area reported on social media they’d heard multiple gunshots.

At about 9:35 a.m., RCMP received reports of an agitated male waving a handgun in the air approaching the Ponoka RCMP detachment. Video footage subsequently viewed by investigators showed that the male was holding an object in his hand.

A confrontation between Aldridge and officers occurred near the court house, in which an officer’s service weapon was discharged and Aldridge was injured. He was treated by EMS and air lifted by STARS.

The Alberta RCMP Serious Crimes Branch, with the assistance of the Central Alberta District General Investigation Section, have concluded their investigation into the events leading up to the shooting.

The Alberta Serious Incident Response Team (ASIRT) is continuing its investigation into actions taken by the police during the incident.

Aldridge appeared in Wetaskiwin Provincial Court on May 24, and was released on conditions. His next court date is June 17, in Wetaskiwin.

READ MORE: Ponoka RCMP confront armed suspect near courthouse

RCMP officers cordon off the street in front of the Ponoka Provincial Court Feb. 10, 2022. (File Emily Jaycox/Ponoka News)