Thompson woman shot in head by cop sues force
Steven Campbell's mother, girlfriend, file separate lawsuits against RCMP, officer over his death
Two lawsuits seeking damages have been filed against an RCMP officer accused of manslaughter in the shooting death of a Thompson man two years ago.
Steven Campbell, 39, was shot and killed Nov. 21, 2015, after police fired at a vehicle he was driving. Shots also hit Lori Flett, the mother of his youngest child, causing serious injuries.
RCMP Const. Abram Letkeman was later charged with manslaughter, criminal negligence causing death, reckless discharge of a firearm, criminal negligence causing bodily harm and dangerous driving causing bodily harm.
In a statement of claim filed in Winnipeg Nov. 20, Flett is suing not only Letkeman, but also the RMCP and the attorney general for damages related to injuries she suffered that night.
"She's recovering," said her lawyer, William Gange of Gange Collins Holloway. "She still faces several operations that are known right now."
Flett was shot in the head during a barrage of gunfire aimed at the vehicle, where she was a passenger. According to the statement of claim, she was left with bullet fragments in her head and brain, and deals with facial paralysis, loss of hearing in her left ear, balance issues and "severe ongoing mental distress."
She is unable to work, the statement says, and is unable to care adequately for herself or her family, do housework or activities she once enjoyed.
Campbell's mother, Shirley Huber, also filed a statement of claim against RCMP, the attorney general and Letkeman on Nov. 20. She claims general damages, loss of companionship, funeral expenses, and interest.
In addition, the mothers of Campbell's two children are claiming loss of child support payments.
Both lawsuits allege Letkeman's actions while on duty mean the RCMP and the attorney general are "vicariously liable" for what happened that night.
The Attorney General's office pointed to the RCMP for comment. A spokesperson for the Manitoba RCMP said they could not comment as the case is before the courts.
Flett told CBC earlier this year, the night of the shooting she was out celebrating her birthday with Campbell, two of her brothers and a friend. She said they were driving to Campbell's home when police pulled them over.
In the days after the shooting, RCMP said in a press release that Campbell had been spotted driving erratically and stopped after a brief chase. They said Campbell accelerated and hit the officer who was walking towards the car, and the officer fired.
Her boyfriend did drive away, said Flett, but didn't hit the officer. She said the police vehicle rammed the car she was in.
"The police officer hit [our] vehicle and it fractured my pelvis," she said.
Letkeman could not be reached for comment. A trial date has yet to be scheduled.
With files from Jillian Taylor