Killed in the line of duty: History of RCMP shooting deaths

Three New Brunswick RCMP officers were shot and killed while on duty Wednesday, June 4 2014. Here’s a history of the some of the most chilling cases of RCMP shooting deaths.

78 RCMP officers have been shot and killed while on the job

More than 75 RCMP officers have been shot and killed in the line of duty in the force's history. (Mark Taylor/Canadian Press)

Three New Brunswick RCMP officers were killed and two others were wounded Wednesday during a shootout with a gunman in a suburban Moncton neighbourhood.

A total of 234 officers with the RCMP and its predecessor, the North West Mounted Police, have died in the line of duty.

The deaths in Moncton bring the total of RCMP officers shot and killed on duty to 78. More than 80 members have died in vehicle, plane and boat accidents. Seventy-six other officers on duty died from various causes such as natural disasters, workplace accidents and during special foreign assignments.

Here are some of the most chilling cases of shooting death in the force's history:

November 2007: Const. Douglas Scott, 20, was shot and killed on Nov. 5 in the Baffin Island hamlet of Kimmirut, about 120 kilometres south of Iqaluit. Scott, from Brockville, Ont., was responding to a complaint about an impaired driver late in the evening.

October 2007: Const. Christopher Worden was shot in Hay River, N.W.T., a small town about 500 kilometres south of Yellowknife. The 30-year-old was responding to a call from a house for assistance at 5 a.m. on Oct. 6 when he lost radio contact with fellow officers.

Two backup officers were sent to the scene and found Worden in a wooded area suffering from gunshot wounds. He died in hospital. Police launched a Canada-wide search for Emrah Bulatci, who surrendered following a standoff in Edmonton five days later. He was convicted of first-degree murder in 2009.

July 2006: Two RCMP officers, Const. Robin Cameron, 29, and Const. Marc Bourdages, 26, were both shot in the head July 7 after a car pursuit of a domestic violence suspect ended on a dirt road near Mildred, Sask. The officers would die in hospital nine days later.

Two RCMP officers in Saskatchewan were shot in the head and later died in hospital after exchanging gunfire with a fleeing domestic violence suspect. (Court photo)

After an extensive hunt for Curtis Dagenais, the prime suspect in the shootings, turned himself in on July 18.

March 2005: Four RCMP officers were ambushed and shot to death on a farm near Mayerthorpe, Alta.

The Mayerthorpe shootings continue to be remembered in the rural Alberta town. It was the greatest single-day loss in RCMP history. (Jeff McIntosh/CP Photo)

They were investigating reports of stolen auto parts as well as a small marijuana grow operation. The gunman was also found dead inside a Quonset hut — a large metal storage shed.

Feb. 28, 2004: RCMP Cpl. Jim Galloway, 53, a dog handler based in Edmonton, was shot and killed during a six-hour standoff in Spruce Grove, a bedroom community just outside the Alberta capital.

A 31-year veteran of the force, Galloway was shot dead at the scene as a gunman tried to leave a house while exchanging gunfire with police. The 39-year-old suspect was also hit and died later in hospital.

December 2001: Const. Dennis Strongquill, 52, and his partner stopped a truck near Russell, Man., intending to cite the driver for failing to dim his high beams. A passenger got out of the truck and started shooting. The two officers jumped back in their SUV and drove toward a nearby RCMP detachment.

They were pursued to the police parking lot and the RCMP vehicle was rammed into a fence, trapping Strongquill inside. The passenger got out and fired a shotgun at Strongquill, fatally wounding him before fleeing the scene.

Fallen RCMP officers are honoured annually at the Canadian Police and Peace Officirs Annual Memorial Service on Parliament Hill in Ottawa. (Jonathan HaywardéCanadian Press)

March 2001: RCMP Const. Jurgen Seewald, 47, was shot and killed while responding to a domestic dispute in Cape Dorset, Nunavut. The 26-year veteran of the force had only moved to the northern community a few months earlier.

Salamonie Jaw, convicted of first-degree murder in the case appealed, but in 2008 the life sentence was upheld.

January 1987: Special Const. Gordon Kowalczyk, 35, answered a call from a gas station near the Calgary Airport, about a customer who had left without paying for fuel. He stopped a suspect, who shot him at point-blank range from a truck before stepping out of the vehicle and firing five more shots at the dying policeman.

January 1985: Const. Allen Giesbrecht, 31, investigated a report that a man in Vegreville, Alta, was brandishing a shotgun. He and four other officers arrived at a house adorned with signs scrawled with anti-RCMP slogans. Giesbrecht died after being shot in the stomach while searching the house, despite wearing a protective vest.

The history of the RCMP stretches back to 1873, when they were called the North West Mounted Police. The men in red took on the name the Royal Canadian Mounted Police in 1920. (Library and Archives Canada / PA-122660)

April 1978: Const. Thomas Brian King, 40, stopped a car for a routine check in the north end of Saskatoon. The two men in the car attacked him, forcing him into their vehicle, driving to the South Saskatchewan River and shooting him before throwing his body in the water. They allegedly stopped on the way to the river to brag to friends about what they were about to do, a memorial website says.

March 1974: Const. Roger Pierlet, 23, was working alone on an overnight patrol looking for vandals in Cloverdale, B.C., when he stopped a car to be searched. There were two men in the vehicle, one of them a Langley man whose brother died in a high-speed police chase just four days before. The man, who had been looking for a police officer in order to exact revenge, shot Pierlet in the heart.

June 1962: Const. Elwood Keck, 25; Const. Gordon Pedersen, 25; and Const. Donald Weisgerber, 23, were shot to death while attempting to apprehend gunman George Booth, who was firing his army surplus rifle from the Peterson Creek Bridge in Kamloops, B.C.

October 1935: Const. John Shaw, 39, of the RCMP, and Const. William Wainwright, a municipal police officer from Benito, Man., were shot while transporting three young men suspected of armed robbery in Saskatchewan. The murderers — three farmers' sons aged 18 to 21 wearing three-piece suits — dumped the officers' bodies in a muddy slough, where a farmer found them three days later. The men later tried to enter Banff National Park in Alberta, but ran into an RCMP spot check. They opened fire, killing two more RCMP officers: Const. George Harrison, 29, and Sgt. Thomas Wallace, 39. The murderers were themselves eventually shot to death.

January 1922: Const. William Doak, 39, stationed at Tree River, N.W.T., was shot to death in his sleep by an escaped prisoner.

August 1920: Const. Ernest Usher, 26, was shot and killed while trying to arrest train robbers at Bellewae, Alta