An 18-year-old man is in a coma after being shot and seriously injured at the Maniwaki, Quebec courthouse yesterday, according to his mother.
The woman, who spoke with CBC News about the incident, cannot be identified in order to protect the identity of her son, who was at the courthouse to be sentenced on a charge under the Youth Criminal Justice Act.
Her son had just received a six-month sentence and was waiting to be transferred to jail when the scuffle broke out because he wanted a smoke break and constables refused to allow it.
Quebec’s police watchdog, the Bureau des Enquêtes Indépendantes (BEI), said that during the altercation, the 18-year-old took a baton off the special constable and hit him with it multiple times. Naturally, the officer responded by pulling his gun and shooting the man in the face.
The bullet entered near his nose and traveled to the side of his neck before stopping.
The special constable was taken to hospital for unknown injuries but has been released, according to the head of the Quebec special constables’ union.
Even though there are obviously plenty of officers seen in the video, the president of the Quebec special constables’ union Franck Perales seems to blame the incident on a lack of constables. He said in a press release Thursday that they need more special constables at the courthouse.
Special constables are peace officers who work in courthouses and other government buildings. They’re equipped with pepper spray, a firearm and a collapsible baton, Perales said, and handcuffs.
Many residents, like Pierre Lafond, believe special constables shouldn’t be using guns.
“They should have Tasers and be prepared for stuff like that,” he said. “Yesterday, you could tell they were not prepared.”
Watch video of the incident below: