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

  • Prosecutors seek Friday court appearance for Epstein associate

    World News CTV News
    NEW YORK -- Prosecutors on Sunday asked a judge to schedule a Friday court appearance in New York for Jeffrey Epstein's longtime associate to face charges she helped him recruit women to sexually abuse. British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell, 58, was arrested Thursday at a US$1 million estate on 156 acres that she purchased last December in Bradford, New Hampshire. Source
  • China issues bubonic plague warning for Inner Mongolia city

    World News CBC News
    Authorities in a city in the Chinese region of Inner Mongolia issued a warning on Sunday, one day after a hospital reported a case of suspected bubonic plague. The health committee of the city of Bayan Nur issued the third-level alert, the second lowest in a four-level system. Source
  • British police use 'EncroChat' breach to arrest more than 700 alleged 'kingpin' criminals

    World News CTV News
    TORONTO -- Over the last three months, British police forces from across the country have made hundreds of arrests following a massive breakthrough by law enforcement into the dealings of organized crime within the U.K. Police have arrested more than 700 people accused of being gun runners, drug traffickers, money launderers and more. Source
  • Canadian Broadway actor Nick Cordero, 41, dies from coronavirus complications

    Canada News CBC News
    Tony Award-nominated actor Nick Cordero, who specialized in playing tough guys on Broadway in such shows as Waitress, A Bronx Tale and Bullets Over Broadway, has died in Los Angeles after suffering severe medical complications after contracting the coronavirus. Source
  • Dominican Republic chooses leader amid rising COVID-19 cases

    World News CTV News
    Luis Abinader, presidential candidate of the opposition Modern Revolutionary Party, greets the crowd while he is surrounded by journalists at a voting center during the presidential elections, in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, Sunday, July 5, 2020. Source
  • Iran confirms damaged nuclear site was centrifuge facility

    World News CTV News
    This photo released Thursday, July 2, 2020, by the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran, shows a building after it was damaged by a fire, at the Natanz uranium enrichment facility some 200 miles (322 kilometers) south of the capital Tehran, Iran. Source
  • This town replaced some cops with medics and mental health workers. It's worked for over 30 years

    World News CTV News
    Around 30 years ago, a town in Oregon retrofitted an old van, staffed it with young medics and mental health counsellors and sent them out to respond to the kinds of 911 calls that wouldn't necessarily require police intervention. Source
  • Some celebrated July Fourth virtually while others packed beaches despite coronavirus surge

    World News CTV News
    Millions of Americans marked a very different Independence Day this year, with many choosing virtual celebrations or canceling plans altogether amid mounting concern over the coronavirus pandemic. The changes followed pleas from health officials warning that holiday crowds and packed gatherings like the ones the U.S. Source
  • Boy, 9, missing in Winnipeg's Red River since Friday found dead, police say

    Canada News CBC News
    The body of a nine-year-old boy who went missing after going into Winnipeg's Red River on Friday afternoon has been found in the water, police said on Sunday afternoon. Darius Bezecki was biking with two brothers and a friend near his home when all four ended up in the river, Const. Source
  • Former officer charged in Floyd's death posts US$750K bond

    World News CTV News
    MINNEAPOLIS -- A former Minneapolis police officer charged in the killing of George Floyd has been released from jail, according to Hennepin County jail records. Tou Thao, age 34, is the third former officer accused in Floyd's death to be released on bond. Source