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12-15-05, 06:17 PM #1
Laval (Canada) City Police Officer gunned down during noise complaint
A single shot fired through a door at police responding to a routine call left a 25-year-old officer dead and led to an eight-hour standoff yesterday that ended with the arrest of a paroled convict.
Armed tactical teams surrounded the apartment block in suburban Laval, north of Montreal, where Const. Valerie Gignac and her partner had responded to a noise complaint.
Gignac was rushed to hospital, where TV footage showed staff administering cardio-pulmonary resuscitation as she was wheeled inside.
She later died -- the eighth Canadian police officer killed in the line of duty during 2005.
A man gave himself up after lengthy talks with provincial police negotiators, said force spokesperson Francois Dore.
"Towards 6:45 tonight, the man left his apartment and gave himself over to police in a calm and peaceful manner and suffering from no injuries,'' Dore said.
The man, described as in his 40s, faces murder charges, police said.
He was the tenant of the apartment and was alone at the time.
Police responded to the shooting by flooding the neighbourhood with cruisers and evacuating the apartment complex.
Three schools in the area were also locked down.
Another police spokesperson said the suspect was recently released from prison under certain conditions, but he could not confirm that he had been charged with firearms violations.
A native of Quebec City, Gignac had served with Laval police for four years. Her boyfriend is on the force's canine unit.
A police official who did not want to be identified said two shots were fired at Gignac, with one striking her. A witness said she heard only one shot.
Resident Danielle Lajoie dialled 911 as an officer feverishly performed first aid on his wounded partner.
Lajoie, 51, works nights and heard the shot. "The noise that I heard sounded like a door being slammed shut, not the sound of gunshot,'' recounted Lajoie.
"Then I heard some noises in the stairway and I saw a police officer on the floor with another officer who had brought the (injured) officer down the stairs.
"She was shot upstairs and the other officer brought her down to my floor. I opened the door. The police officer asked me to call 911. I called and I passed the phone to the officer who was doing first aid on his partner.
"The bullet apparently entered under her vest.''
There was a report that the bullet was fired from a high-calibre weapon.
Police Chief Jean-Paul Gariepy said his officers were in shock. "Right now, there's really a deep sense of grief.''
01-04-06, 09:55 PM #2
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