Man dies after confrontation with police in Lac-Simon
A man in the Lac-Simon First Nations Reserve has died after being hit by a police car.
Sûreté du Quebec spokesperson Claude Denis said Lac-Simon community police received a call at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday about a man in his 20s wandering the community with a sharp object.
Police went to scene and the man, 25-year-old Sandy Tarzan Michel, was struck by a police cruiser.
Denis said shots were fired, but wouldn’t say who fired a weapon. Witnesses say police shot the man who had been hit with a police car.
After being hit by the car, the man was taken to hospital in critical condition and died of his injuries overnight.
The victim's brother died in similar circumstances six years ago, shot by police while walking down the street holding a machete.
While the man was being taken to hospital the town's residents objected to the heavy-handed nature of the police response and began arguing with police officers.
The local force called on the SQ for help, and SQ officers came in to defuse tension.
Because of the seriousness of what occured SQ officers have taken over patrol duties for Lac-Simon until further notice. The Montreal police force has taken over the investigation.
Two months ago, police officer Thierry Leroux was killed in the same remote community.
According to the local police's union, at any given time there are only two officers in one cruiser for the entire community. After Leroux died, there were calls to make it four officers in two cruisers.
"We met with [Public Security Minister] Martin Coiteux. We talked to him about those problems. I'm saying we should have acted, we should act. I'm saying today, the [prime minister and premier] should get involved in this," said spokesperson Marc Ranger.
Lac-Simon is 15 km east of Val d'Or.