Jurors at the Saskatoon trial of a man accused of killing two RCMP officers have listened to an emotion-drenched audio recording of the 2006 police chase that ended in the fatal shooting of the officers.
The tape was played for the 12-person jury on Friday at the trial of Curt Dagenais, 44, who's charged with first-degree murder in the deaths of constables Robin Cameron and Marc Bourdages and the attempted murder of Const. Michelle Knopp.
It contains exchanges between RCMP officers in their vehicles and the central dispatch operators during crucial minutes when Cameron, Bourdages and Knopp were pursing Dagenais east of Spiritwood, which is about 270 kilometres northwest of Saskatoon.
The tapes begin with the voice of Cameron reporting that officers were pursing Dagenais.
"We're heading east," Cameron reported over the blaring sound of her police siren. She conveyed to her superiors that their suspect, in a blue pickup truck, had already reached speeds of around 110 kilometres per hour over dusty gravel roads in rural Saskatchewan
"We have to stop him," Cameron added.
A short time later, Bourdages cautioned his colleagues involved in the chase.
"Michelle and Robin, making you aware, he's made threats before. He's got firearms," Bourdages said.
As the pursuit continued, efforts were made to contact other officers to provide assistance. There was also talk about the availability of Taser equipment and spike belts.
At one point, the chase took officers off-road.
"Control, we are now in a field just south of Mildred," Cameron radioed in. "He tried to make a turn, and now we are in a field."
A few moments later, the chase escalated.
"Speed on gravel road is now 110 kilometres an hour, and he's still not stopping," Cameron reported. "And he's also tried to ram us. And he ... "
"He did ram into us," Bourdages interrupted.
"He did ram us, and we are attempting to stop him still," Cameron confirmed.
The officers in the chase are told, and acknowledge, that records on the suspect note him as being a "police hater."
About 15 minutes into the tape, the officers reported that they were following Dagenais along a dirt road and were not sure of their location.
Then, another transmission came into dispatch:
"We have him," Knopp said. And a moment later, "Shot, I'm shot."
Dispatch asked the officer to repeat.
"Shots fired. Shots fired. I'm shot, Rob, I'm shot," Knopp said, referring to her supervisor, Sgt. Rob Clarke.
The dispatcher called an ambulance and other officers are reported to be on their way to provide assistance.
Knopp also reported that her colleagues, Cameron and Bourdages, needed assistance.
"Send an ambulance. Send an ambulance," Knopp said.
Knopp was told to stay calm, but her voice rose with emotion.
"Rob, hurry," she said. "I don't know about Marc and Robin ... Oh God, hurry."
The Crown told jurors Tuesday that Bourdages and Cameron had both suffered gunshot wounds to the head. They died in hospital about a week after they were wounded. Knopp received injuries to her arm, ear and torso.
The trial, which began Monday, is expected to last three weeks.