A veteran police officer who was shot at a Brampton, Ont. courthouse Friday is now alert and speaking with his family, according to Peel Regional Police.
Const. Michael Klarenbeek, 53, was providing security services to a courthouse when police said a suspect opened fire. The 46-year-old suspect was shot dead during a confrontation with police.
Klarenbeek was taken to Sunnybrook hospital where it was later announced he was in stable condition.
On Saturday, Peel police wrote on Twitter he was alert and well, and speaking with his family.
Great News! Cst. Klarenbeek is alert and speaking with his family. Your prayers worked and he is doing well! Thank you all.— Peel Regional Police (@PeelPoliceMedia) March 29, 2014
Klarenbeek's wife, Lynn, issued a statement Saturday.
“We would like to start by saying thank you to everyone who has been so great through this difficult time. From the paramedics, to the hospital staff, Peel Police, the courthouse staff and the general public," the statement read. "Mike specifically wanted to thank a nurse, who was at the courthouse that day. She was the first to tend to him, before the paramedics arrived. He says without her help, it may have had a different outcome."
She went on to thank Chief Jennifer Evans and Superintendent Kim Whyte for their support, as well Const. Joy Brown of the Organizational Wellness Bureau. "Everyone has been so supportive; we thank you all for your thoughts and prayers.”
Klarenbeek has two children.
His parents, Peter and Adriana Klarenbeck, said they are just happy their son's condition is improving.
"The bullet could have made all things worse... I could be visiting now in a funeral home if things had gone wrong," his mother said.
The A. Grenville and William Davis Courthouse, located at 7755 Hurontario St., is considered one of the busiest and most secure in the Greater Toronto Area. It is staffed with armed guards and the security barrier is similar to an airport screening zone, with separate lineups for the general public and court staff or lawyers.
The gunman attempted at two separate times to cross through the area meant only for lawyers, according to witnesses.
"He came in through the lawyers' side, the cop asked him, 'Come here,' and he just pulled out a gun and started shooting," said Anthony Chandra, who was in the courthouse at the time.
"He point blank, like, shot [the police officer] in the chest," Chandra added.
Another witness described the suspect as wearing a long camel trench coat, a black fedora and sunglasses.
His age has been released but his family has not yet consented to release his identity.
The Special Investigations Unit is going over the sequence of events at the courthouse and has assigned more than a dozen investigators to the case.
The SIU investigates police actions involving death or serious injury.
No guns in Toronto courts
The shooting has also brought up another matter; officers in Peel courthouses carry guns whereas officers in Toronto courts in charge of security do not.
“The repercussions could have been a lot worse if we didn’t have officers there with fire arms present,” said President of the Toronto Police Association Mike McCormack.
He is looking into the possibility of outfitting officers in Toronto courthouses with guns.
“We’ve raised our concerns with the chief…. We’re going to be doing an audit to ensure our officers are safe when doing their jobs.”