Father from Saskatchewan. man shot dead by police grapples with loss and lingering questions

A Saskatchewan family mourns the loss of Ryan Booker, who was shot and killed by a police officer near Belle Plaine, Saskatchewan on Sunday.

« It doesn’t get any harder than that, so we’re all here to support each other, » Booker’s father, Barry Nosal, said Monday.

Nosal described his son as kind – the kind of person who would give others the shirt off his back.

« He was a good boy. I loved him. Everyone who knew him loved him, and we all make mistakes. He made a mistake. I just don’t know if that mistake was to end the way it did. ‘ did, » Nosal said.

Booker died on Highway 1, about six hours after police first interacted with him.

Police received a call at 1:10 a.m. CST about Booker allegedly making threats in his car in Moose Jaw. Police say Booker left that location, headed down Highway 1 and stopped near Belle Plaine, about 40 kilometers west of Regina.

Police alleged Booker pointed his gun at officers around 7 a.m. CST and said when he failed to comply with demands, they shot him.

Nosal wants more information about what happened in the moments leading up to that gunshot.

« If he shouldered his gun, maybe they had to, but [it’s] pretty hard to shoulder a gun in a Toyota Camry, » Nosal said. « I’m just curious what warrants firing forward before I give myself a chance to deter it. »

Nosal said he tried to reach his son in the hours before his death and drove on Highway 1 toward Belle Plaine and identified himself as Booker’s father to police, giving his number.

He said they told him to park in town and wait. He grabbed a coffee at the gas station and waited what he thinks is about two hours.

The police did not call. When they finally came to talk to her, it was to tell her that her son was dead.

« Maybe I’m wrong, but I can’t help but think if they’d give me a chance to talk to him, » Nosal paused, taking a moment to think. He said the tragic event that unfolded was atypical for his son’s usual behavior.

« I just want to make it clear that it wasn’t him. It absolutely wasn’t him, he was a nice guy. He was a fun guy and he had a bad night. »

Ryan Booker was shot by a police officer on the highway near Belle Plaine, Saskatchewan. His father says Booker’s family is in mourning. (Submitted by Barry Nosal)

Nosal said his son was a loving brother, partner and father who had many friends, was carefree and was a « rockstar » mechanic who excelled at his job. He said Booker was his hunting partner. He was a person who loved the outdoors and traveled miles in search of deer.

Booker would have turned 27 on December 17. Nosal said his son may be suffering from mental illness.

« He told his mother that he felt useless. I didn’t know he was there, but I could have helped him. I think if I had had the opportunity to intervene, I could have helped him. »

Regina SWAT and the RCMP Critical Incident Response Team were called to the scene, where RCMP say crisis negotiators attempted to verbally de-escalate the situation. The incident will be investigated by the Saskatoon Police Department, as its officers were not involved.

The tragedy left Nosal with countless questions.

« All sorts of things are going through my head right now and I don’t want to blame anyone, and I’m sure the officer isn’t feeling very good about himself right now, but I’m the one with the loss. . »

He said police told him a drone was used in the incident and wondered if any part of the incident was filmed.

Nosal said he hopes the external investigation will reveal why he was not called one way or another to try to defuse the situation and why the police fired.


Back to top button