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Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Shootings Galore

Today was the burial of Laval municipal police Constable Valerie Gignac, aged 25 years-old when she was shot and killed when called in to intervene in a dispute between neighbors. I have been in the heart of these type of things - but, luckily, neither my neighbors nor I owned a rifle at the time of *our* disputes... a rifle that could blow sizeable holes into almost anything - at close range. In *this* dispute, it was the pacifier that took the shot - and died for it. Ironically, the 40 year-old man who shot his rifle through the door blindly *fancied* women in uniform... He must have taken too much to heart the TVA series Jasmine... Alas, he still shot Valerie fatally.

Laval, Québec is not the only Canadian spot where law enforcement officers have been the victims found at the wrong end of a loaded weapon - Western Canada has been the place that has seen the most such revolting reversals of situations recently. The most recent incident was not fatal, even though the Manitoba Mountie who was shot that time was shot... in the face. "Five shots were fired at the Mountie's cruiser. One bullet whistled through the windshield, ripped through (the Mountie's) nose, cracked through a cheekbone, continued down the back of his throat and lodged near his spine." Two months before this shooting, another Manitoba RCMP officer had been killed under very similar circumstances - and before that, no less than four RCMP officers were slain, but near Mayerthorpe, ALBERTA this time. The foursome was investigating "stolen parts and a marijuana grow operation" on a suspect's property - a suspect who proved guilty as well as lethal. He killed all four officers and then killed himself. Some of the gruesome details are found here.

Alas, it appears that even retiring won't put an RCMP officer out of harm's way for good - as a retired officer found out in Port-Au-Prince, Haiti. Mark Bourque was shot dead while driving through the capital city - just as Valerie Gignac was being laid to rest half a world away. Thousands of police officers were marching alongside her coffin - how many will march alongside Mark's?

At the other end of the spectrum - and the other end of Canada as well; in Nova Scotia - a 70-year-old man was shot and killed by an RCMP officer... An investigation is underway... The man was reputedly armed and "dangerous" at the time when he confronted the RCMP officer (who, understandably, with so many of his colleagues biting bullets, took no chances at all...) Maybe they thought they were shooting down Scrooge?

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