An Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) officer who used a firearm during a situation in Bourget on May 11, 2023, did not commit a criminal offence, according to Ontario’s Special Investigations Unit (SIU).
The shooting on May 11 was part of a series of events at a home in Bourget, where 42-year-old OPP Sergeant Eric Mueller was fatally shot by a suspect. A third police officer was also struck by a bullet fired by the suspect. However, the suspect was not struck by gunfire.
Alain Bellefeuille, 39 of Bourget was arrested and charged with First Degree Murder, contrary to Section 235(1) and two counts of Attempted Murder, contrary to Section 239 (1) of the Criminal Code.
An SIU investigation is required whenever a police officer discharges a firearm at a person. SIU investigators must determine if a criminal offence was committed in connection with the incident under investigation. In the Bourget shooting, SIU Director Joseph Martino found no reasonable grounds to believe the OPP officer committed a criminal offence.
According to the SIU report of the investigation, the forensic team examining the interior of the residence where the situation occurred located three spent nine-millimetre rounds. Upon checking the use of force equipment of one of the officers who had been injured in the incident, it was determined that there were three rounds missing from the magazine in his pistol. Body-worn camera (BWC) footage was available and had been secured for the SIU.
The SIU was dispatched on May 12 and arrived at the scene on May 13. A thorough examination was made of the objects and damage inside the home and in the yard.
Martino’s report determined, based on the evidence and investigation, the officer’s use of the firearm was in accordance with Section 34 of the Criminal Code which provides that conduct that would otherwise constitute an offence is legally justified if it was intended to deter a reasonably apprehended assault, actual or threatened, and was itself reasonable.