Two Edmonton police officers have died while responding to a domestic call in the city's northwest, with reports of a third person dying in the altercation also confirmed.
"The Edmonton Police Service is mourning the loss of two of its patrol officers who were killed in the line of duty while responding to a call earlier today," Edmonton police spokesperson Scott Pattison said in a statement.
EPS Chief Dale McFee confirmed that police remained at the scene in the residential area of Inglewood, primarily concentrated around the Baywood Park Apartments at 114th Avenue and 132nd Street, where several streets remained blocked to public access.
McFee said Const. Travis Jordan, 35, and Const. Brett Ryan, 30, approached a suite after being called to a family dispute at about 12:47 am. He confirmed the officers didn't have time to defend themselves after being shot.
The killer, described as a "young man," committed suicide shortly after he gunned down the two officers. When paramedics arrived, they rushed a female relative to the hospital in critical condition.
Fellow officers placed their wounded comrades in police cars and frantically tried to save their lives while being rushed to the hospital, but frontline staff pronounced them dead on arrival.
"This is an unthinkable and horrific tragedy," said McFee." Their lives and sacrifices will not be forgotten."
Law enforcement remains at the scene with strung police tape across the entrance to a building in the apartment complex.
Several officers entered the ground-level suite in the complex, with a large police command post truck parked in the street, with lights flashing.
News of the deaths prompted an outpouring of condolences from police, politicians and public safety officials nationwide.
Alberta Premier Danielle Smith and Public Safety Minister Mike Ellis released a joint statement soon after the EPS press conference Thursday morning.
"Today, the province mourns the loss of two police officers killed in the line of duty. On behalf of the Government of Alberta, we extend our deepest sympathies to the family, friends and colleagues of Const. Travis Jordan and Const. Brett Ryan,” it reads.
“Every day, police officers across Alberta put on their uniforms to step up to protect and serve our communities. The sudden and tragic deaths of these two Edmonton Police Service officers remind us again of the dangers police officers constantly face to ensure the safety of Albertans.”
They contend that Alberta’s government supports its police services to ensure they can perform their duties to keep its communities safe.
“Alberta would not be the great province it is today without the support of the courageous men and women who patrol our streets every day to keep our communities protected. The province is here to support the Edmonton Police Service during this tragic loss. To honour the service and dedication of these lost officers, the flags at the legislature will be lowered to half-mast,” reads the statement.
"Every day, police officers put themselves in harm's way to keep people safe," said Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
"The news that two [Edmonton police] officers have been killed in the line of duty reminds us of that reality. I'm sending my condolences to the officers' loved ones and colleagues — we're here for you."
Federal Conservative leader Pierre Poilievre also tweeted his condolences.
"We mourn with the families and colleagues of two police officers killed in the line of duty in Edmonton this morning. Never take for granted that our law enforcement put their lives on the line [daily] to keep our communities safe," he tweeted.
Police services nationwide have also expressed condolences on the tragedy that struck Edmontonians Thursday morning.
"This is a tragic loss and one that is shared among law enforcement, including our team. We are here to support [Edmonton police] during a devastating time," Calgary Police Service Deputy Chief Chad Tawfik wrote on Twitter.
"Condolences to the entire service, families, and friends."
"No words can describe what our members & their families [feel now]. Our entire service & community are mourning & I'm devastated," tweeted Staff Sgt. Michael Elliott, head of the Edmonton Police Association.
Michael Gendron, a spokesperson for the Canadian Police Association, said police officers across the country are heartbroken by the death of two colleagues.
"Sending our most sincere condolences and prayers to all who are mourning the loss of friends and colleagues today, especially to their families at this tragic time," wrote Gendron on social media.
The last Edmonton police officer killed in the line of duty was Const. Daniel Woodall, who died from his injuries incurred by a bullet wound on June 8, 2015.
Norman Raddatz, 42, killed the hate crimes investigator, who attempted to arrest him on a charge of criminal harassment at his west Edmonton home.