Teen shot in Maniwaki faces hard recovery in custody, mother says

The 18-year-old man was shot in the face during an altercation at the courthouse and the bullet is still lodged in his neck, according to his mother.

Bullet still lodged in neck of 18-year-old shot during altercation with special constable Jan. 31

An 18-year-old man was shot and seriously injured at the Maniwaki, Que., courthouse on Jan. 31, 2018, during a scuffle with a special constable. (Still from video)

The 18-year-old man who was shot in the face by a special constable in the Maniwaki, Que., courthouse Jan. 31 is in custody after being released from hospital, and still has a bullet lodged in his body, according to his mother.

The woman and her son cannot be identified due to protections under the Youth Criminal Justice Act. He was in the courthouse that day in January to be sentenced for an offence that predated his 18th birthday. 

The teen managed to grab a baton from a special constable in the courthouse during a scuffle and began to hit him with it, according to Quebec's police watchdog, Bureau des enquêtes indépendantes (BEI), which is investigating.

The special constable then fired his gun, shooting the teen in the head, according to a BEI news release.

'He hasn't been doing well'

The teen was in a coma in hospital the day after the shooting, and was released a little more than three weeks ago, according to his mother.

"It's been about three weeks. He hasn't been doing well since he left hospital," she said in a French-language interview with Radio-Canada.

The man was in a coma after the incident, but has since been moved to a detention centre in Gatineau, Que., according to his mother. (Supplied by teen's family)

"He wasn't ready to leave. He was having blackouts, fainting. The doctor released him anyway. Myself, my parents and the family didn't think it was a good idea."

She said her son is dealing with long-term health effects from his injuries and has also been having flashbacks and nightmares about the incident.

Bullet still lodged in body

The bullet is still in his body, stuck next to an artery with a fragment close to a vertebra, his mother said.

"His life is in danger if they remove it. That would be more dangerous for him than leaving it there for the moment," she said. 

If the bullet fragments are jostled, it could cause deadly internal bleeding or paralyze him, she added.

"It's been difficult, but I have no choice but to stay strong for my son. I don't sleep well, I'm always stressed," she said.

Concern about schooling

She said any long-term health impacts could jeopardize her son's ability to go back to school to become a welder once he serves his time.

"In his state, with his headaches, his memory loss, fainting, going deaf in one ear, vision problems — all of this might mean he can't go back to school," she said.

The 18-year-old is scheduled to appear in court March 19 on a matter unrelated to the shooting incident.

His mother said there will be a rally against police brutality in Maniwaki on Saturday.

With files from Radio-Canada's Florence Ngué-No