"She was like a Disney princess."
These are the words a friend uses to describe Stacy Perry, a 29-year-old mother who was killed by Calgary police on Christmas morning.
“(She was) quiet, wore dresses all the time, loved life (and) was so bright and full of life,” said Perry’s friend, Caroline Renny, holding back emotions.
“Every time I talked to her, she had such a big heart,” Renny said in a Friday interview with Postmedia. "She took care of everyone else so much."
Renny met Perry last June at the Addiction Treatment Center in Salmon Arm, British Columbia – the city in which Perry will eventually live.
“(When I met her) she experienced many challenges, and we were going to support the groups together,” Renny said.
"Then, after her stay, she decided to move here," recalls Renny. “She got a seat here. Her (nine-year-old) daughter returned to Edmonton, so she will visit her when she can. I connected her (Perry) to work at an insurance company, and everything was fine for four or five months. ”
Perry’s shooting is being investigated by the Alberta Serious Incident Response Team (ASIRT). Sources say that after driving wildly in Calgary, Perry's car pressed a female officer to another car before a 10-year-old Calgary police veteran fired a pistol, killing Perry.
Vincent Church, a former boyfriend who was close to Perry, called her an energetic and caring young woman who fought alcohol and drug addiction.
“She was a well-meaning person (who) struggled with some addictions and often called and sought guidance or advice,” said Church, who met Perry four years ago at Fort McMurray.
“Stacy always had a good heart. It was hard for her, but she tried her best … She tried very hard to cope with all this. ”
Church said that after Perry left the rehabilitation center, she continued her studies in the administration of the medical office.
According to Church, Perry was a woman who panicked when she was addicted, adding that, in his opinion, this could have caused Perry to flee from the police, leading to her possible death.
“This panic can take several forms; it will make her escape from the situation, ”Church said. “It doesn't happen often, but this panic begins.”
"(The day she was shot dead) she undoubtedly had a bad time, or a bad episode, or someone threatened her or did something to her to cause her panic, ”he said. "It would probably give her a reflex of fight or flight, and when she was upset, she did not always make the best decisions."
Immediately after midnight on Christmas morning, Perry drove around the 9th Avenue and Blackfoot S.E. in a gray Honda with a sedan license plate. The officers tried to stop her car on suspicion of driving violation.
However, she could not stop. Driving through the northwest of the city, the police said that it was working on red lights with varying speeds.
Two more stops were taken, also unsuccessfully, around 12:30 in the morning. Police stopped following the car about 10 minutes later, citing "security concerns."
Less than two hours later, the police received a call about a driver who “works on red lights and turns around” in the northeastern community of Falconridge. The officers found the same gray Honda sedan as before, and incorrectly drove into oncoming traffic in northeast Calgary.
The police made a controlled stop for a sedan who drove onto McNight Boulevard with Stoney Trail, placing a police car in front of the sedan and additional police cars on each side and behind the car.
When the officers started to get out of their cars, the "sedan was set in motion," according to an ASIRT statement published on Thursday.
Rennie said she didn’t know what happened to Perry the morning she was killed.
“What I know is that everything that happened that night would be completely out of fear and absolutely not from what she would ever do in a sober, sober and safe mind,” said Renny.
“She is not that terrible person running through the streets. People think of people who have addiction problems as terrible people, and we are just normal people who have something bad to happen to us, ”she said.
“I hope that for everyone who fights, they speak and recognize what is happening. This is the only way to get help. ”
On Thursday, Les Kaminsky, president of the Calgary Police Association, called the incident a tragic circumstance.
“We are very, very lucky, extremely lucky that we don’t have a policeman who was injured or even killed during this incident,” he said.
“It was a risky … very emotional incident with a high crisis, and very lucky that we don’t have a dead cop. In my 33 years (it was) the first time we had a critical incident like this at Christmas was heartbreaking on several levels. ”
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org | Twitter: @zjlaing
For those struggling with addiction, help in Calgary can be found through:
Alberta Health Services Addiction Helpline: 1-866-332-2322
Alberta Health Services Addiction and Mental Health website
Helpline treatment addiction throughout Canada
Aventa, a drug treatment service for women
Fresh Start Recovery, treatment center for men