After Quebec police shoot Indigenous man in Kitcisakik, watchdog is investigating

After Quebec provincial police (SQ) officers shot an Indigenous man reported to be armed with an axe and fleeing a residence, the province's police watchdog is investigating.

According to information from the BEI (Bureau des Enquetes Independantes), Surete du Quebec officers were called at 3:37 a.m. to a residence in the Anicinape community of Kitcisakik, which is located in the La Vérendrye Wildlife Reserve, at the mouth of the Ottawa River and Grand-Lac-Victoria in northwestern Quebec.

A 33-year-old man allegedly "forced his way" into the residence and threatened to attack a woman inside.

The suspect was spotted by police and reportedly fled on foot with two axes in his hands. He was reportedly "threatening" to the officers.

The BEI report says officers "tried to reason with him, but to no avail."

Officers then used pepper spray, without success, and then fired shots in the direction of the man. The man was hit by at least two bullets, the report reads.

The man was seriously injured and is reportedly in stable condition in hospital.

The BEI, which says its investigation will include determining whether this information is accurate, has sent seven investigators to the community of just under 300 people. A parallel investigation has been assigned to the Montreal police (SPVM).

The SPVM will provide forensic identification technicians.

Anyone who witnessed the event is asked to contact the BEI.

-- This report by The Canadian Press was first published in French on Aug. 1, 2021.

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