Shooting that killed OPP officer in Bourget was not an ambush: accused man's lawyers

·2 min read

TORONTO — The lawyers for a man accused of killing an Ontario Provincial Police officer and injuring two others are disputing the characterization of the shooting in Bourget, Ont., as an ambush.

Alain Bellefeuille, 39, is charged with one count of first-degree murder and two counts of attempted murder in a May 11 shooting that left OPP Sgt. Eric Mueller dead.

At the time, OPP Commissioner Thomas Carrique said that Mueller and two other officers were "ambushed and shot" when they responded to a report of a disturbance at a home in Bourget, east of Ottawa.

“This was not an ambush," Bellefeuille's lawyers, John Hale and Cassandra Richards, said in a statement on Friday.

"We trust that the public – including potential jurors – will remain open to the possibility of an alternate account of events.”

The statement said that Bellefeuille "neither requested nor expected the police to show up at his home in the middle of the night."

It said Bellefeuille was falling asleep in his bed, with the lights off, when police arrived and that he only called 911 "for help" after the incident.

The lawyers said they will not be commenting further and that any other information about his actions that day “will be reserved for trial.”

Mueller, a 42-year-old father of two, was described as an exemplary officer by his colleagues and those who paid their final respects at his funeral this week. He is the 10th police officer to be killed on the job in Canada since September 2022, and the fifth to be fatally shot in Ontario during the same time period.

The Special Investigations Unit, Ontario's police watchdog, is investigating after the OPP's forensic team discovered evidence that one of the surviving officers shot his gun at some point after they arrived on scene.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May, 19, 2023.

The Canadian Press