Photo: Calgary Police
Al-Azan Shah Muhammad, 17 years old (LEFT) and Amir Abdulrahman, 19 years old (RIGHT)
Authorities say two teenagers were arrested for the death of a Calgary police officer.
Police say the defendants turned themselves in on Friday afternoon.
The 17- and 19-year-old was wanted for first-degree murder in the sergeant’s death. Andrew Harnett.
Police said Harnett stopped an SUV in the northeast of the city just before 11 pm on Thursday, after noting that the vehicle’s license plates did not match the recorded description.
They claim the vehicle took off, hitting the policeman and dragging him down the road.
Police said the 17-year-old boy would be behind the wheel, while Amir Abdulrahman, 19, was probably traveling as a passenger.
Calgary police issued first-degree murder warrants to two people who allegedly ran over and dragged a police officer during a traffic stop that became deadly.
Sgt. Andrew Harnett, 37, died shortly after the New Year’s Eve incident in northeastern Calgary.
“Today is the day that I have nightmares,” Calgary police chief Mark Neufeld told a news conference on Friday.
“I’m upset. It’s totally pointless.”
Police said Harnett had stopped an SUV in northeastern Calgary just before 11:00 pm. Harnett, who was a supervisor and worked alone, realized that the vehicle’s license plates did not match the description and decided to stop it, Neufeld said.
Neufeld said the vehicle took off during the stop, hitting the policeman and dragging him along the road.
A second unrelated vehicle was also involved and “may have contacted Sgt. Harnett” on the road, Neufeld said. He added that the driver of the vehicle stayed at the scene and is helping with the investigation.
Police said paramedics and other officers arrived in minutes and tried to resuscitate Harnett, but he died in the hospital almost an hour later.
Officials seek out Al-Azan Shah Muhammad, 17, and Amir Abdulrahman, 19, both from Calgary.
The police say they have filed a lawsuit with the courts to obtain permission to identify the youngest suspect. People under the age of 18 who are facing charges are usually not allowed to be appointed under the Juvenile Criminal Justice Act.
Police said they believed the youngest teenager was the driver and Abdulrahman was a passenger at the time of the incident. Neufeld said investigators do not believe it is possible that the driver did not know that the policeman had been hit.
Police said investigators located the vehicle believed to be involved in the incident on Friday afternoon after receiving a report from the public.
They say the copper-colored Infiniti FX SUV 2006 was found at 1:30 pm Friday in the northeastern neighborhood of Taradale and is now undergoing forensic testing.
Neufeld said that Harnett’s death reinforces the constant dangers that cops face every day.
“There is no routine traffic stop,” he said.
“There is no low risk event. There is an unknown risk and that type of incident really highlights that.”
An emotional Neufeld added that he knew the officer personally, but considered his death a blow to the entire CPS family.
Harnett, a 12-year veteran in the force, was a military police officer for two and a half years. He leaves a wife behind, Neufeld said.
“I actually worked a shift with him personally,” said Neufeld. “A consummate, incredible, incredible professional with the public and he is everything you would like to be a quality police officer.”
Neufeld said Harnett also helped investigators to identify suspects before he died, but gave little details.
“Part of the reason why we were able to carry out this investigation as quickly as we did was the direct result of some exceptional police work done by Andrew before his death,” said Neufeld.
“He is helping us to resolve this and bring those responsible to justice.”
Neufeld said video of the incident taken from a police vehicle dashboard camera and from Harnett’s own body camera proved useful.
“He did a very good job of capturing and recording information, and in this case, the fact that he did it was very useful for us.”
The president of the Calgary Police Association said that all members mourn Harnett’s death.
“Our members … everyone put their personal pain aside to conduct a thorough and professional investigation so that those responsible for this cowardly act can be held responsible,” said John Orr.
The Mayor of Calgary also paid tribute to the dead officer.
“In particular, my heart today is not just with Sgt. Harnett’s family, but also with the women and men of the Calgary Police Service, because I know a little about that family and a little about that incredible fraternity of people who come together to keep us safe every day, “said Naheed Nenshi.
Alberta Prime Minister Jason Kenney offered his condolences on Twitter.
“His death reminds us of the real risks taken by the police every day,” said Kenney.
“This was a terrible crime. I hope that the perpetrator is brought to justice quickly.”
– The Canadian Press
Calgary police located the vehicle believed to be connected to the sergeant’s death. Andrew Harnett, thanks for the help of the public.
At around 1:30 pm today, police found the vehicle in the community of Taradale, in the northeast of the country. He was brought in for forensic testing.
Both suspects remain at large.
We located the vehicle linked to the death of an officer on duty, thanks to a public complaint. Suspects Al-Azan Shah MUHAMMAD and Amir ABDULRAHMAN remain at large. Call 403-428-8877 or 403-266-1234 with tips. @CanStopCrime #yyc #wantedhttps://t.co/Hnivm7TvBP pic.twitter.com/5TTDNatmvn
– Calgary Police (@CalgaryPolice) January 1, 2021
First-degree murder warrants were issued to two teenagers who allegedly assaulted and killed a Calgary police officer on duty on New Year’s Eve.
When completing a traffic stop, the sergeant. Andrew Harnett was hit by a runaway vehicle around 10:50 pm on Falconridge Boulevard and Falconridge Drive NE
Calgary police are looking for Al-Azan Shah Muhammad, 17, and Amir Abdulrahman, 19, both from Calgary. The RCMP says that a request was made to the Youth Division of the Calgary Provincial Court to identify the youth accused in this case.
Police said Muhammad, the alleged driver, and Abdulrahman, his passenger, were in the SUV that was stopped by Harnett. The driver reportedly escaped the traffic stop and hit Harnett.
The police are also looking for a copper-colored Infiniti FX 2006, with a small spare tire on the front passenger side. The vehicle also has noticeable hail damage.
“Despite the heroic attempts of his colleagues and EMS members, he died as a result of his injuries. There is a major effort underway to locate and bring to justice those responsible for taking the life of one of our members. Dozens of jurors and civilian members are working around the clock to track every clue and these efforts will not stop, “said Calgary Police.
Harnett was pronounced dead in the hospital around midnight. The 37-year-old joined the Calgary Police service 12 years ago, after serving as a military police officer.
The search for teenagers continues. The roads in the area are closed and will remain closed for some time.
Anyone with information about the suspects and the vehicle should call the homicide information line at 403-428-8877 or the CPS non-emergency line at 403-266-1234. Tips can also be sent anonymously to Crime Stoppers.
Photo: Calgary Police
Sgt. Andrew Harnett