A 26-year-old Port Alberni woman is dead after she was shot by police in New Brunswick early Thursday morning.
Family members in Tofino have identified the woman as Chantel Moore, an Indigenous woman and mother of a five-year-old girl who had just moved to New Brunswick from Port Alberni a few months ago.
Police in Edmundston, N.B., say at around 2:30 a.m., officers received a request to check on Moore’s well-being at an apartment building on Canada Road in Edmundston.
Police say she was holding a knife and threatened the officers.
“At first the officer went on scene, and all of a sudden the person just exited the apartment with a knife and was attacking the officer,” Edmundston Police Force Insp. Steve Robinson told CBC News on Thursday. “He had no choice but to defend himself.”
Moore died at the apartment, according to police.
Nora Martin, Moore’s aunt, described her great-niece as a “kind, gentle and loving” person and said she had trouble believing Moore would charge at an officer with a knife.
“It’s very out of character. Chantel didn’t have a mean bone in her body,” said Martin, who works as a community health liaison with the Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation. “As far as I’m aware of, she never had any trouble with law.”
Moore, who had recently started working at a hotel, had just moved into her own place after spending a weeks at her mother’s home in Edmundston.
Martin says Moore’s boyfriend, who was in Toronto, had asked the police to check in on her because she complained to him that she was being harrassed by someone.
“He was worried about her,” she said. “[The officer] shot her five times. I don’t know if it was one bullet that hit her or all of them,” Martin said.
An autopsy has been scheduled, and the investigation is continuing.
Martin says six members of her family are hoping to fly to New Brunswick on Friday to be with Moore’s mother and daughter.
Edmundston police have requested an independent agency investigate the actions of the police.
“I hope there is a full investigation,” said Martin.