Sgt. Ryan Russell's final moments

Sgt. Ryan Russell is seen in television footage during a police operation the day before he was...

Sgt. Ryan Russell is seen in television footage during a police operation the day before he was killed. (CTV photo)

ROB LAMBERTI, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 8:08 AM ET

TORONTO - Sgt. Ryan Russell grazed the man accused of killing him with one of two bullets fired during the desperate moments before he was run over, sources said Wednesday.

A built-in camera on Russell's cruiser captured some of the frantic final seconds as the sergeant fell and was then hit by a rampaging snowplow, leaving the 11-year veteran dead and a city scarred, sources confirmed.

It all started shortly after 4 a.m., when a shoeless man hopped into the cab of an idling pickup truck outfitted with a plow and drove off.

For Russell, the tragic morning started in a mundane fashion.

He stopped for a coffee -- just before his shift was about to begin -- when the call came about the stolen plow truck smashing into a posh auto dealership.

Responding to the call, Russell spotted the truck and got out of his cruiser.

In what must have been a troubling sight, he noticed the driver standing near the pickup was barefoot in the snow.

Russell approached, trying to speak with the man while holding his Taser, but the driver jumped into the pickup and headed towards Russell, sources say.

The officer managed to holster his stun gun and pull his sidearm.

He slipped in the snow and lost his balance as the plow approached. But he managed to send one final desperate message over his two-way radio.

He also fired two rounds.

Richard Esber Kachkar, 44, originally of St. Catharines, is charged with first-degree murder and two counts of attempted murder.

Kachkar is now in the medical wing of Maplehurst Correctional Centre in Milton, Ont., located just west of Toronto. Medical personnel are treating him for bullet wounds -- including to the nose -- suffered when he was taken down by emergency task force officers about two hours after the rampage began.

A source said the ETF team apparently didn't know Russell had died when they captured the suspect.

Homicide Det.-Sgt. Dan Neilsen said he is now focusing on Kachkar's movements between Jan. 6, when he left St. Catharines for Toronto -- possibly by bus -- and Jan. 11.

"We're learning little bits and pieces, but there's still a lot we don't know about him," he said.

The Canadian-born Kachkar spent some time at school in Armenia, Neilsen said.

Neilsen said investigators are trying to determine why he and his wife separated about five years ago, adding drugs and alcohol did not play a role.

No formal paperwork had been filed by the estranged couple.

At Russell's funeral on Tuesday, an emotional Chief Bill Blair said: "This is a sad day for Toronto Police and for police right across this country, but at its heart it's also about the terrible loss of someone who served this city, who dedicated himself to public service, who had the courage to go towards danger, and a man who lost his life."


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