Michel Vienneau shooting details emerge
City of Bathurst says lives of officers were in danger and Vienneau was part of drug investigation
Court documents filed in the shooting death of a man in Bathurst by police tell two very different versions of the events.
Michel Vienneau was killed by police gunfire after his car was stopped outside the train station in January.
Vienneau's common-law partner, Annick Basque, is suing the city for damages. Both she and the city have filed statements to the court, but all are refusing to speak publicly.
Basque says in her statement of claim that Vienneau's death was caused by police negligence. She says neither she nor Vienneau was involved with illegal drugs and there was no reason to arrest them.
Her version of events is that plainclothes officers approached the couple's vehicle with guns drawn, after they had got off the train from Montreal. She says that caused Vienneau to panic and try to drive away.
Basque's statement says it wasn't apparent the gun-carrying men were police. She states if they wanted to arrest the couple, they should have done so before they got into their car.
The city's statement of defence offers a much different picture in response to the lawsuit.
It says Bathurst police received information that Vienneau would be on the train from Montreal, in possession of illegal drugs. It says two officers identified the suspect, and intercepted his vehicle with a police car.
The statement says police lights were on and clearly visible. The officers then got out of their car and identified themselves.
At that point, the city says Vienneau accelerated without warning, pinning one of the officers against a snow bank. The other officer, concerned for their partner's safety, fired several shots to stop the vehicle, hitting Vienneau.
The city argues that the use of a firearm was justified, since members of the police force were in danger.
The allegations of both parties are in court documents and have not been proven in court.
No court date has been set to hear the lawsuit.
Meanwhile, there is still no word from the New Brunswick public prosecutions office on whether any charges will be laid in the shooting.
Nova Scotia RCMP officers were asked to investigate the incident. That report was completed in July. No details have ever been released from it.