CALGARY — Two men wanted on first-degree murder warrants for the death of Calgary police Sgt. Andrew Harnett have turned themselves in.
Harnett, 37, a 12-year veteran of the Calgary Police Service, was killed when a vehicle fled while he was conducting a traffic stop around 10:50 p.m. local time Thursday in the area of Falconridge Blvd. and Falconridge Drive N.E.
Nearby officers and paramedics who arrived on scene tried to save the officer, but he was pronounced deceased in hospital near midnight.
At about 11 a.m., officials named two suspects wanted for murder in connection with Harnett’s death.
Amir Abdulrahman, 19, and a 17-year-old who can’t be named under the Youth Criminal Justice Act are facing charges of first-degree murder after turning themselves in to police later in the day. Police had earlier named the 17-year-old suspect, having made an application to the Youth Division of the Calgary provincial court.
He can no longer be named now that he is before the justice system. Police had also released images of a suspect vehicle, which was located a short time later and taken for forensic testing.
“Time is crucial in the progression of investigations, as evidence can be tampered with or destroyed if not quickly secured,” said homicide Staff Sgt. Martin Schiavetta.
“It was because of numerous tips from the public that we were able to locate and seize the suspect vehicle within hours and examine it for key evidence. We are grateful for the collaboration between the Service, our media partners and the community in working together to find answers in this tragedy.”
Police say the 17-year-old is alleged to be the driver of the sport utility vehicle that struck Harnett while Abdulrahman was his passenger.
Police said Harnett joined the force 12 years ago after serving as a military police officer.
During a media availability on Friday, Calgary Police Chief Mark Neufeld said Harnett was a decorated officer who won at least two Chief’s Awards for saving lives.
“A family has lost a son, a sibling has lost a brother, a spouse has lost a partner and many, many members of our service have lost a really good friend,” he said.
The president of the Calgary Police Association said Harnett always kept his duty to keep Calgarians safe above all else.
“He made the ultimate sacrifice while fulfilling his oath to protect Calgarians,” said John Orr. “Andrew did not do this for praise or for personal gain. He did so because he has a deep commitment to service in his community.”
Orr says every member of the CPS has put their grief aside to help in the investigation into Harnett’s murder.
“I want to let Andrew’s family know that he is in all of our hearts and our thoughts and he will be remembered always.”
Neufeld added a second vehicle was also involved in the crash and did make contact with Harnett, but did not get into further details about exactly how his injuries were inflicted.
The driver of the second vehicle did remain on scene and Neufeld says they are cooperating with the investigation.
“Significant efforts are underway to locate the vehicle that struck Andrew and then failed to stop,” he said, adding that Harnett’s investigation of the vehicle prior to the incident has been instrumental.
“He is helping us solve this and bring those responsible to justice.”
The murder of a police officer carries a mandatory first-degree murder charge, but an intent to kill still needs to be proven.