Video Global TV: Lethbridge Shooting
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There’s new information about a man gunned down by two Lethbridge Regional Police officers on Sunday night.
The 26-year-old is being identified by friends as Deu Raj Puri, who, along with his family, had settled in Lethbridge just eight months ago.
Puri was part of a growing Bhutanese community in Lethbridge, led by the Canadian Bhutanese Society.
“It’s like a nightmare,” says Hemlal Timsina, president of the Society. “We’re totally shocked and saddened.”
Timsina says some in Lethbridge’s community of about 500 Bhutanese are questioning if it was the right move to come to Canada.
“If they had known this would happen, they say they would have never signed the forms to come here,” he says.
A statement on the Canadian Bhutanese Society’s website confirms Puri and his family settled in Lethbridge in November 2011, coming from a refugee camp in Nepal after being forced out of Bhutan.
Officials with Lethbridge Immigrant Services say it’s a similar case for most Bhutanese in the city.
“Many refugees arrive in a third country of resettlement, like Canada, having been on the run from forms of authority,” says Sarah Amies with Lethbridge Immigrant Services. “They were ejected from their country and the authority they had supported consistently turned on them.”
“Some have come under circumstances that are quire disadvantageous,” says Peter Portlock, CEO of Lethbridge Family Services, which runs Immigrant Services. “Very challenging, very sad and tragic in many cases.”
Investigation into circumstances surrounding the shooting is expected to take months, but for a community new to Canada and our laws, answers can’t come soon enough.
“This is unnatural for Canada,” says Timsina. “It’s not the regular thing, but it will take some time for (the family) to calm down. They think it is (unjust).”
“They’re utterly impatient, as anybody in this situation would be,” says Amies. “The next step for us is to work with these folks in their understanding the process takes the amount of time it takes.”
The Alberta Serious Incident Response Team is releasing few details about the investigation. However, sources tell Global News the victim had troubles with alcohol and had previous dealings with police.
Lethbridge Immigrant Services says most of its clients take part in a program familiarizing them with law enforcement in Canada.