North

Police cleared in 2017 shooting of woman in northern Quebec

Woman had many opportunities to comply with police orders before she was shot, sustaining non-lethal injuries.

Quebec prosecutor's office has determined use of force justified when woman shot in Puvirnituq in 2017

Kativik Regional Police Force officers cleared in non-fatal 2017 shooting of 22-year-old woman.

The police officer who shot a woman during an armed stand-off in Puvirnituq, Que., has been cleared of any criminal wrongdoing by Quebec's director of criminal and penal prosecutions.

Quebec's prosecution service announced its decision in a press release Thursday, stating it reached the decision after reviewing a report produced by the Bureau of Independent Investigations (BEI) into the Oct. 19, 2017 incident.

On that day, at about 3:30 a.m., two Kativik Regional Police Force officers responded to a report of shots fired near a home. The two officers arrived on scene where, according to the press release, the woman threatened to shoot them. She also told police she wanted them to fire on her to end her life.

The police called for back-up. This took place over a period of about five to 10 minutes.

After a third officer arrived, the woman was reported to have raised her weapon at him. She was then shot by that officer in the abdomen, and sustained non-lethal injuries.

That same day, six BEI investigators travelled to Puvirnituq to begin the mandatory investigation that follows the report of serious injuries involving police.

The use of force by the police officer was justified, the press release states. The officer who fired had reasonable grounds to fear for his life and the woman who was shot had many opportunities to lay down her weapon and comply with police instructions.

According to the press release, the prosecution service's investigation only looked for evidence of criminality. Civil or moral fault is outside the scope of the investigation, as would be comments on police methods.