2nd man accused in shooting of Manitoba police officer pleads guilty

A second man accused of being part of a crime spree in western Manitoba during which an RCMP officer was seriously injured has plead guilty.

Tommy Beaulieu pleaded guilty Monday to aggravated assault, robbery and break and enter

The RCMP emergency response unit arrests a suspect in Neepawa, Man., on Thursday, August 30, 2018, following the shooting of a RCMP officer near Onanole, Man., on Aug. 29. (John Woods/Canadian Press)

A second man has pleaded guilty to his role in a crime spree in western Manitoba that included the shooting of an RCMP officer.

Tommy Beaulieu entered guilty pleas on Monday in Brandon Provincial Court to two counts of aggravated assault on a police officer, one count of breaking and entering to steal firearms and one count of robbery. 

Beaulieu was one of four men arrested after Cpl. Graeme Kingdon was shot and wounded as he and his partner responded to a break-in outside Onanole, Man., on the evening of Aug. 29, 2018. 

Beaulieu, who was wearing a grey shirt and pants with his hair tied in a short ponytail on Monday, has been in custody since his arrest shortly after the shooting.  

Therae Racette-Beaulieu has already been sentenced to 15 years in prison for the attempted murder of Kingdon and his partner, as well as another three years for the crimes that took place before the shooting.

Property owner hit with rake 

Beaulieu, who was 21 at the time, went to a property near Portage la Prairie, Man., with Racette-Beaulieu and hit the property owner with a rake before stealing his truck, court was told on Monday.

The pair then drove to the Brandon area, where two other men — Shane Beaulieu and Delaney Houle — were picked up, before all four made their way to the Onanole area in the stolen truck.

Cpl. Graeme Kingdon was shot in the back of the head and seriously injured in the shooting. (Riley Laychuk/CBC)

The four then broke into a home near Ditch Lake, in the Onanole area, and stole four firearms, including the camouflage shotgun that was used in the shooting, court was told.

The group then made their way to another property in the area where they were intercepted by Kingdon and his partner, who were responding to the break and enter. 

Court heard the two Beaulieu men and Houle ran away. Racette-Beaulieu fired three shots from a top a nearby hill soon after, one of which hit Kingdon in the back of the head. 

Kingdon was off work recovering from his injuries for a lengthy period of time, but has since returned to work in a limited capacity. In April, it was reported that he still had 17 BB-sized pellets lodged in his head and neck from the shotgun blast, including one that penetrated his skull. 

Manhunt ends in Neepawa

The shooting sparked a manhunt that ended the next afternoon. Three of the men were arrested nearby, while court heard Tommy Beaulieu stole another vehicle and was arrested hours later in Neepawa. 

Houle and Shane Beaulieu have also been charged in connection with the break-and-enters, but have not yet entered pleas. They are due back in court in September.

The RCMP emergency response unit arrests a suspect in Neepawa, Man., on Thursday, August 30, 2018, following the shooting of a RCMP officer in Onanole, Man. (John Woods/The Canadian Press)

"Even though it was [Racette-Beaulieu] who discharged the firearm, Mr. Tommy Beaulieu is culpable for the aggravated injury to Cpl. Kingdon and endangerment of Const. Thompson as it was a foreseeable outcome to the … [plan] of which he was a party," Crown attorney Kaley Tschetter told the court on Monday. 

Beaulieu's defence lawyer, Rishi Bharath, ordered a pre-sentence report, as a well as a gladue report which looks into an Indigenous offender's history. 

When asked by the judge if he understood the charges and the facts of the case, Beaulieu was initially uncertain. 

"I'm crazy, a little bit, and have a hard time understanding," Beaulieu said, later admitting that he did understand the charges, following earlier discussions with Bharath. A psychological evaluation was also ordered. 

Beaulieu's prior convictions include a number of weapons-related offences, as well as vehicle or vehicle parts theft, possession of stolen property, fleeing police, trespassing, resisting arrest and drug offences. 

A date for a sentencing hearing will be set at a later date. 

About the Author

Riley Laychuk is CBC's reporter based in Brandon, covering rural Manitoba. Share your story ideas, tips and feedback: