Montreal hospital shooting in late August wasn't, in fact, targeted at officers: police
After a shooting on Aug. 24 that left a policewoman injured, Montreal police say they've concluded that officers were not, in fact, the intended target.
After three weeks analyzing what happened at the Glen site of the McGill University Hospital Centre, Montreal police said Tuesday they've decided the officers were hit by stray bullet fragments.
On that day, two officers were apparently shot at, with one of their arms grazed. But a bullet couldn't have arrived at that destination from where it was originally shot, police decided.
"The treatment of the scene, which required a great deal of work by police personnel and specialists, made it possible to locate the impacts of projectiles and to recover pellets," they wrote in a release.
In the hours after the incident, investigators also interviewed several witnesses in order to reconstruct the events, they said.
Since Aug. 24, more work has been done, including analyzing all the surrounding areas, police wrote.
"Images from various cameras were also analyzed, in particular to check the movements of pedestrians, cyclists and motorists during the night of the event."
Most important, however, were the ballistics analyses.
These "shed new light on the event: the shots were fired from a green space set up between Saint-Jacques and Pullman streets, south of the hospital," police said they concluded.
"However, due to the terrain, it is unlikely that the shooter could have intentionally targeted the police officers who were then in the parking lot."
The reconstruction that police created, the "most plausible scenario," they wrote, is that after an exchange of gunfire in that area off Pullman St., "stray projectiles continued on their way north."
"It was the impacts of these projectiles that were found in the facade of the building, near where two police officers were."
Ricocheting fragments could explain the injured officer's injury, the release said.
"Fortunately, the latter and her partner are doing well now, despite the dangerous situation they and passers-by were exposed to."
At the time, the police chief said that he was shaken by the officers' apparent targeting.
"What concerns me today is the gratuitousness of this act of violence, which seems to have been directed specifically at our police officers," he said.
Police are still looking for information about the shooting and are asking anyone with information to call Info-Crime.
This is a developing story that will be updated.