RED DEER — Police gunfire ended a Christmas Day rampage by a man driving a stolen front-end loader in central Alberta Friday.
And Red Deer RCMP say the unidentified 37-year-old man was sought by Mounties for a sexual assault and attempted murder earlier that day.
The drama began Christmas morning when the suspect, a 37-year-old man, went to the home of a 47-year-old female friend in Red Deer and attempted to abduct her, sources tell the Sun.
In the process of intervening to stop the abduction, the victim’s 20-year-old son was slashed in the throat by the suspect.
The man then took the woman to a location near Sylvan Lake, where she was sexually assaulted.
Some time later, the suspect encountered police west of Red Deer and led officers on a high-speed pursuit, colliding with at least one occupied vehicle in the process, the occupants of which managed to escape serious injury.
Police followed the suspect to an industrial park north of Red Deer, where he managed to commandeer a large front-end loader.
Continuing the pursuit, the suspect overturned and damaged several unoccupied vehicles, including several police cruisers, the source said.
The rampage ended shortly before 2 p.m. after the suspect led officers into a field near Range Rd. 273 and Township Rd. 391.
Police were forced to open fire after the suspect drove the large loader towards officers, killing the man, the Sun was told.
Both the woman and her son were taken to hospital, where they continue to recover from their ordeal.
The Alberta Serious Incident Response Team (ASIRT) has been called in to investigate the shooting and more information on the assaults and theft of the front-end loader is expected to be released by the RCMP.
— With Files from Bill Kaufmann
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