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Man who allegedly killed Quebec police officer had long history of violence, mental health issues

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The man who allegedly killed a Quebec provincial police (SQ) officer on Monday had a long history of violence detailed in court documents.

Sgt. Maureen Breau was fatally stabbed while trying to arrest a man accused of uttering threats in Louiseville, near Trois-Rivieres, Que.

Two other officers then shot and killed the man.

The suspect is 35-year-old Isaac Brouillard Lessard, according to a police source who spoke to Noovo Info.

Brouillard Lessard had been charged with several violent crimes dating back ten years, according to court documents.

Last year, he pleaded guilty to assault and was sentenced to two years probation and 200 hours of community service.

Between 2017 and 2018, he was found not criminally responsible for two assaults and uttering death threats.

In 2013, he was charged with threatening to cause death or harm. He pleaded not guilty and was found not criminally responsible.

Brouillard Lessard's lawyer, Yanick Peloquin, says his client was due to appear in May before Quebec's mental health review board -- Commission d'examen des troubles mentaux du Quebec.

The review board found in March 2022 that Brouillard Lessard posed a "significant risk to public safety" but determined that the risk could be adequately controlled if he would be properly monitored.

That March 2022 decision is one of several issued by the board about Brouillard Lessard since 2014.

Sgt. Maureen Breau, killed during an arrest, had been on the force for 20 years.

HISTORY OF MENTAL HEALTH CONCERNS

A former friend of the accused told Noovo Info that Brouillard Lessard spent time at the Philippe-Pinel Institute of Forensic Psychiatry in 2019.

"In his head, he was not sick. The others were crazy, and he was too smart for the others," said Ludovick, a pseudonym for the source who spoke on the condition of anonymity.

"He was a guy with an explosive character," said Ludovick, recalling a time when Brouillard Lessard bragged to him about one of the assaults that landed him in court.

Ludovick believes his former friend should not have been released from institutional care.

"For the safety of everyone around, you couldn't let a guy like him go into society and think he was going to fend for himself," said Ludovick, who says he last spoke to Brouillard Lessard in January.

The mayor of Louisville also expressed the same concern on Monday.

"He shouldn't have been here," Yvon Deshaies told reporters. "He should have been in an institution, getting healed. He was sick."

FALLOUT FROM 'APPALLING' KILLING

Montreal police are investigating Breau's death, while Quebec's police watchdog, the BEI, is investigating the police response.

Sgt. Breau was in her early 40s and had two children. She had spent two decades with the police force.

The head of the provincial police union told reporters Tuesday that Breau, a sergeant with more than 20 years experience on the force, was due for a promotion in four days.

Her death drew an outpouring of support from her family and colleagues.

Breau's sister, reached on Facebook, said the family was asking for privacy. "My big sister will always be my hero," she wrote in a message to The Canadian Press.

Quebec Premier Francois Legault called the event "appalling" online. He said he would work with the province's minister responsible for social services to ensure that mental health cases are treated urgently when a person is deemed a risk of violence to themselves or others.

With files from The Canadian Press

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