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Metro News Edmonton
VICTORIA HANDYSIDES METRO EDMONTON
July 15, 2008 05:41
A man who was shot dead by Mounties over the weekend in Vegreville suffered from severe depression and was off of his medication when he threatened police with a sawed-off shot gun, says a unit created to keep an eye on police in Alberta.
While police haven’t confirmed the man’s identity, media reports claim his name was Leo Raymond Poulin, and that he lived just outside the community of Vegreville.
“The deceased left his residence, destined for the RCMP detachment in Vegreville,” said Clifton Purvis, a director with the Alberta Serious Incident Response Team (ASIRT).
“After speaking with the deceased’s wife on the telephone, the RCMP attempted to stop the vehicle driven by the deceased.”
After a brief pursuit of about three blocks, two RCMP officers found themselves in a standoff with Poulin behind the Vegreville post office.
Poulin refused to drop his weapon, a 12-gauge, pump-action sawed-off shotgun, rigged to hold five cartridges instead of three, said police.
“The deceased appeared agitated and was unresponsive to police direction to put his weapon down,” Purvis said.
From about nine metres away, Poulin pointed the gun at the officers. The officers responded quickly, and one of them shot Poulin three times.
RCMP and EMS crews attempted to work on Poulin, but he was pronounced dead.
Purvis said Poulin was not known to police, and his most recent run-in with the law was when he was handed a speeding ticket one week ago.
“It’s not known why he wanted to attend the police station in Vegreville, but it’s been reported that he suffered from depression and recently came off his medication,” said Purvis.
ASIRT exists to provide an independent objective into cases where police use extreme force.
Established in January, the unit is currently investigating this incident, and another where a man brandishing two shotguns was shot in the face by Smoky Lake in June on his own property.
Purvis said ASIRT is confident that neither incident proves Alberta RCMP are trigger happy.
“There’s nothing to suggest an overall pattern of excessive force by these two incidences,” he said, adding that the possibility of charges being laid against the officer behind the trigger are not out of the question.