Moncton RCMP shootings raise painful memories in Manitoba
The shooting of RCMP officers in Moncton, N.B., is bringing up painful memories for the family of Const. Dennis Strongquill.
The 20-year veteran was shot and killed while on duty in 2001 in Russell, Manitoba. He was 52.
Her father attempted to pull over three people in a pickup truck on a highway in Dec. 2001. Strongquill and his partner, Const. Brian Auger, pulled over the truck to caution the driver to turn down the highbeams.
As they approached it, one of the people in the truck opened fire. The officers ran back to their vehicle, which the truck chased into the town of Russell.
The truck then rammed the RCMP cruiser in front of the detachment office. Auger escaped into the detachment but Strongquill was trapped and unable to shoot due to a pistol malfunction.
Strongquill was shot four times with a sawed-off shotgun while he was trapped in the wreckage.
The RCMP emergency response team shot and killed one suspect. The two others, Robert Sand and Laurie Anne Bell, surrendered to police and were arrested. Bell was eventually convicted of manslaughter, while Sand was convicted of first-degree murder.
Teresa Strongquill said she knows exactly what the families of the Moncton officers are going through right now as they mourn the deaths of three Mounties and hope for the healing of two others wounded and in hospital.
"Grasping what's happened to their loved ones is hard enough let alone they haven't caught the fellow yet. It's very similar to my father's case," she said. "My heart really goes out to them right now."
Strongquill said the road ahead will be difficult for the families in Moncton.
"I'm not going to lie, it's going to be very hard. Your life is kind of put on hold for some time and of course you want to see justice served," she said.
"I would like to tell them to keep their heads held high. Be strong, as strong as you can be and just be there for each other because you're really going to need each other."