The two young men wanted by authorities who mowed down Calgary police officer, Sgt. Andrew Harnett, 37, dragging him with their car and killing him at a roadblock on New Years Eve in Alberta have surrendered. The two teenagers in custody have been charged with first-degree murder in the killing Sgt. Harnett. The Calgary police officer leaves behind his wife Chelsea, who is several months pregnant with the couple’s first child.
Amir Abdulrahman, 19, and Al-Azan Shah Muhammad, 17-year-old, both who reside in Calgary, were arrested at a police station. There was already a prior warrant out for the older teen’s arrest. Muhammad turns 18 years-old on Jan. 11.
On Thursday night, just before 11 p.m., Sgt. Harnett had pulled over a copper-colored 2006 Infiniti FX SUV after running the license plate and discovering it didn’t match the vehicle.
The murdered officer spoke with both the driver and passenger before the vehicle fled, striking and dragging Harnett who Police Chief Mark Neufeld describes, as a “highly decorated” 12 year veteran of the force as well as a former military police officer.
Police believe the 17-year-old was behind the wheel, while Amir Abdulrahman, 19, was likely riding as a passenger.
Despite the many desperate attempts of fellow officers and paramedics, Sgt. Harnett, died at the scene, according to the Calgary Police Service. Sgt Harrett leaves behind a pregnant spouse, Chelsea, and an adoring family.
Sgt. Andrew Harnett’s Family
Harnett was the youngest of three boys in his family. Jason, the eldest, said he believed his brother was drawn to police work because of the family’s history in the military, his other brother Chris and his grandfather both served. He always wanted to be a police officer, reports Jason
He was deeply loved, and he loved policing,” Jason said. “He didn’t need to be out on Christmas Day. He didn’t need to be out on New Year’s Eve. He just loved doing it.
“The last thing that I texted him before I wished him Happy New Years was, ‘Bro, you be safe.” said Jason.
Sgt. Harnett Helps Solves his own Murder
Chief Neufeld said Sgt. Harnett helped his fellow officers identify the suspects before he died. “Part of the reason we’ve been able to progress this investigation as quickly as we have was as a direct result from some exceptional police work done by Andrew prior to his death,” Neufeld said. “He is helping us solve this and bring those responsible to justice.”
Neufeld said video of the incident shot from a police vehicle’s dashcam and Harnett’s own body camera has been very useful. “He did a very good job of capturing and recording information and in this case the fact he’d done that was very helpful to us.”
Police in Mourning
The Chief developed a personal relationship with Harnett, and said he and his other officers have been in deep mourning over the loss of Andrew.
“Today is the day I’ve had nightmares about. Having to stand in front of you, our membership and the public, to announce the loss of one of our officers, one of our guardians and unquestionably, one of the best. He will be greatly missed by all.”
The president of the Calgary Police Association, John Orr, said all member of the force are grieving Harnett’s death,
“Our members … have all put their own personal grief aside in order to conduct a professional and thorough investigation so that those responsible for this cowardly act can be held accountable,
Watch the following video report by Canadian news station, The National, on the death of Sgt Harrett,
Lawyers for the two killers indicated on Saturday say they plan to apply for bail at the earliest opportunity. The pair will appear in court Monday morning.
Meanwhile, a family tragically lost their son, a spouse has lost her loving husband, a child just lost his father, siblings lost their brother, officers lost their friend, and a community lost a hero.