July 31, 2012
Man allegedly fired flare gun cops so he'd be shot: RCMP
By Justina Contenti, QMI Agency
LLOYDMINSTER, Alta. — In an alleged attempt to goad Mounties into shooting him, a man facing child porn charges fired both a flare gun and pellet gun and threw bullets at officers ahead of his scheduled court appearance on Monday.
At about 9:56 a.m. on Monday, Lloydminster RCMP members responded to a complaint of gunshots in the alley behind the courthouse and arrived to find a 54-year-old man with what appeared to be a handgun, Cpl. Shayne Hartwell said.
“He shot at members at least a half a dozen times and that gun was believed to be a pellet gun just by the sound of it and by the description of what we could see of it,” Hartwell said.
“The individual then walked over to a bag that he had on top of his car and pulled out a hatchet and threw a hatchet at the members and then pulled out a flare gun and fired a couple of flares at responding members.”
Hartwell said it was at this time they believe the suspect’s motive for the altercation was suicide-by-cop.
“This particular individual had an upcoming court appearance and wanted to engage members and wanted members to actually shoot him,” Hartwell said, adding the man was upset with being charged and felt this was the only way out.
However, after determining the handgun was not a real firearm, RCMP members did not engage the suspect or return fire.
“It was absolutely amazing that the officers that responded there quickly recognized that it was a pellet type gun and that it wasn’t an actual loaded handgun and as a result of that it is fortunate that this individual was not shot,” Hartwell said.
“Certainly the members could have used deadly force and at the end of the day they recognized it for what it was and they knew this individual wanted to commit suicide-by-cop and dealt with it accordingly.”
The suspect also began to throw ammunition at the members being fleeing the scene in a rental car.
“He ended up grabbing some ammunition that was in the bag that he had with him and when he wasn’t shot by police he picked up the ammunition and just kind of threw it down the alley at us,” Hartwell said.
The Saskatchewan courthouse was locked down and a guard placed inside to watch that no one came or left.
“In the end the suspect ended up coming back and tried to get into the Saskatchewan courthouse,” Hartwell said. That’s when the suspect was arrested.
There were no injuries during the altercation.
Doug Hatcher, 54, of Lloydminster, Sask., faces multiple charges including one count of assaulting a peace officer with a weapon, four counts of possessing a weapon dangerous to the public, two counts of discharging a firearm with intent, two counts of pointing a firearm, two counts of careless use of a firearm, two counts of use of a firearm in the commission of an indictable offence and two counts of mischief.
Hatcher has been remanded into custody and underwent a mental health assessment. He is scheduled to make a court appearance on Thursday.
The City of Lloydminster straddles the border between Alberta and Saskatchwan, and is located about 250 km east of Edmonton.