Suspect charged in connection with damage to City Hall memorial

Calgary police are investigating after someone set the residential school memorial on fire Tuesday, Aug. 3, 2021

Police say charges have been laid against a man in connection with a suspicious fire that destroyed a portion of Calgary's residential school memorial last month.

Officials were first alerted to the incident after security staff witnessed a man through CCTV attempt to light a display of children's shoes and other items on fire.

Once he had started a fire, he fled the scene.

The security officers quickly went outside and extinguished it, but not before significant damage was caused to several pairs of shoes and other objects.

Police attended the scene and launched an investigation, which led to a male suspect being identified through tips from the public.

The man was later located and charged, but officials say they won't release his name out of compassionate grounds.

"He is a vulnerable person experiencing some mental health and medical challenges that are believed to have contributed to his actions," police said.

In the meantime, officials say there are supports available for those suffering from mental health issues connected to Canada's residential school system.