Judge lays no blame in fatal RCMP shooting of man on Manitoba reserve

WINNIPEG -- An inquest has concluded the fatal shooting of a man by RCMP on a northern Manitoba reserve was an unfortunate misunderstanding that resulted in tragedy.

See Full Article

Judge Murray Thompson doesn't lay blame in the death of Paul Duck from the God's Lake Narrows First Nation and doesn't make any recommendations.

"This was a tragedy for all involved," Thompson wrote in a report released Wednesday.

It was early in the morning on March 15, 2011, when Duck heard his sister's nearby house being vandalized by a large group of young people. The inquest heard he grabbed his shotgun and fired several rounds to scare the kids off.

He pursued them down a hill where RCMP constables Adam Harmes and Shawn Steele were guarding the scene of a house fire that had killed two young children and their grandfather the day before. Duck approached the officers, apparently to talk to them about his sister's home.

The inquest heard Duck was asked three times to drop his gun. He lowered the weapon to his waist but continued walking toward the officers.

Steele shot him in the arm. The officer later testified that, at that moment, "I thought I was going to lose my life."

"Clearly there was a disconnect between the officer's effort to stop the threat and Mr. Duck's failure to recognize that police viewed him as a threat in those moments," Thompson wrote.

"There was no logical reason for Mr. Duck to intentionally point his shotgun at Const. Steele. Mr. Duck knew it to be unloaded and further had demonstrated no discernible animosity to police. He was sober and would only have been approaching the officers to talk to them."

The inquest found Duck was shot in his arm and lost a life-threatening amount of blood within five minutes.

As he lay wounded on the ground, the officers asked him to let go of his gun, which he did.

"When asked if he was the one who fired off the shots moments before, he said, 'Yes, I should have dropped the gun. I should have dropped the gun,"' Thompson wrote.

Duck was taken to the reserve's nursing station where he died.

An RCMP training expert testified the officers' reaction was "consistent with training. They needed to draw their firearms to prepare themselves for what might come."

An investigation into the shooting by Saskatoon police found no evidence to support criminal charges.

Duck's family lawyers argued the officers should have communicated more clearly and show have asked Duck specifically to put the gun on the ground.

"Paul Duck did not defy police," Thompson quoted the lawyers. "He was not told to stop his approach ... He was not told to drop his gun on the ground. Consequently, having dropped his gun, he continued his forward momentum."

Thompson said he understands Duck's family wonders whether Steele could have done something other than fire on the 52-year-old man.

"Those answers will never likely be determined to their satisfaction."



Advertisements

Latest Canada & World News

  • Quebec police looking for missing 17-year-old girl

    Canada News CTV News
    Police in Quebec are appealing to the public for help in locating a 17-year-old girl who has been missing for two days. Laval police said Kelly Martin Nolet was last seen leaving for work on Thursday, but she never showed up. Source
  • Montreal man convicted of manslaughter for killing wife who had Alzheimer's

    Canada News CBC News
    A jury has opted for the lesser of two possible verdicts suggested by a judge, finding Montrealer Michel Cadotte guilty of manslaughter for the 2017 death of his ailing wife. The jurors began their deliberations on Feb. Source
  • At least 20 killed in vehicle accident at China mine

    World News CTV News
    BEIJING -- State media report at least 20 people were killed and 30 injured in a vehicle accident at a mine in northern China blamed on faulty brakes. The Xinhua News Agency says the accident occurred Saturday morning at a lead, zinc and silver mine operated by the Yinman Mining Company in the sprawling inner Mongolia region. Source
  • Explosions, delays mark Nigeria's presidential election

    World News CBC News
    Gunfire and explosions opened the voting in Nigeria's delayed election on Saturday as President Muhammadu Buhari sought a second term. The vote, widely seen as too close to call, also was marred by hours-long delays at polling stations across the West African country. Source
  • Hundreds gather at celebration of life for former MP Paul Dewar

    Canada News CBC News
    Hundreds of people are filling an Ottawa church to say their final goodbyes to former MP Paul Dewar. Dewar, who represented the riding of Ottawa-Centre for almost a decade, died earlier this month from brain cancer. He was 56. Source
  • 'Tears of sadness for a life too short': Former MP Paul Dewar remembered at memorial service

    Canada News CBC News
    Hundreds of people filled an Ottawa church to capacity on Saturday to say their final goodbyes to former MP Paul Dewar. Dewar, who represented the riding of Ottawa-Centre for almost a decade, died earlier this month from brain cancer. Source
  • As U.S. plans in Syria shift, Canada tries to plan for own forces in Iraq

    Canada News CTV News
    OTTAWA -- The commander of Canada's special forces says officials are watching closely to see what impact U.S. plans to withdraw hundreds of soldiers from Syria could have on Canada's mission in neighbouring Iraq. In an interview with The Canadian Press, Maj. Source
  • Vietnam issues traffic ban for Kim's possible arrival route

    World News CTV News
    HANOI, Vietnam -- Vietnam has announced an unprecedented traffic ban along a possible arrival route of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un ahead of his second summit with President Donald Trump in Hanoi next week, state media reported. Source
  • Train possibly taking Kim Jong Un to summit enters China

    World News CTV News
    DANDONG, China -- A train similar to one used in the past by Kim Jong Un entered China on Saturday evening, possibly carrying the North Korean leader on a multiday journey to Vietnam's capital for his summit with U.S. Source
  • 3 Venezuelan soldiers desert post amid border tensions

    World News CBC News
    Three members of the Venezuelan national guard deserted their posts early on Saturday, Colombia's migration agency said, ahead of a planned opposition-led effort to bring aid into the economically devastated county. The soldiers have asked for help from the agency, it said. Source