Saskatchewan

Eyewitness account false, Const. Shelby Patton's firearm was holstered, Saskatchewan RCMP says

Police investigators determined two witnesses who spoke to CBC News shared a false account of RCMP Const. Shelby Patton's death in Wolseley, Sask.

RCMP officer died June 12 in Wolseley, Sask., while on duty

A police statement published Thursday morning said two people who claimed they witnessed the death of an on-duty RCMP officer had provided a false account to CBC. (Stuart Forster/Shutterstock)

Saskatchewan RCMP say two people who claimed they were witnesses to Const. Shelby Patton's death on June 12 shared a false account with CBC News.

When CBC News contacted the two people Thursday morning, they said they had fabricated the story they told to a reporter on Saturday.

CBC News had interviewed the couple at the scene in Wolseley, Sask., about 100 kilometres east of Regina, where police say Patton died on duty after being hit by a stolen truck. Two people face charges including manslaughter and possession of stolen property in relation to Patton's death.

During the interview, the couple who said they were witnesses told CBC News they saw the incident from their apartment, which they said overlooked the scene.

Then on Thursday morning, RCMP said in a statement that after interviewing two people who spoke with CBC News and claimed they witnessed Patton's death, investigators determined those two people were not in Wolseley when the incident took place. 

Police said investigators determined the witness's apartment had no clear view of where the incident took place. 

GRAPHIC | What RCMP have released about the incident that led to Const. Patton's death 
(CBC)

Investigators also determined Patton's gun did not leave its holster, as the two people claiming to be witnesses had said, police said. 

CBC removed what had been reported as a witness account and published an editor's note in the story where the two people's interview had been shared.

"The couple expressed shock and emotion at what they say they had witnessed," the note said. "At that time, we had no reason to doubt their story."

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