Probe begins after former hockey player killed during Quebec police intervention


Quebec's independent police watchdog is investigating after a former hockey player who toiled for several years in a Quebec minor league was killed in a police shooting Sunday evening in the province's Beauce region.

Brandon Christian, 47, of St-Georges, was identified as the victim by the Quebec coroner's office on Monday.

Christian, listed on several hockey websites as being originally from Burlington, Ont., had played in the Ligue Nord-Americaine de Hockey up until a few years ago -- primarily with the club located in the Beauce region, south of Quebec City, between 2004 and 2017.

His former club, the Cool FM de St-Georges-de-Beauce, extended its condolences to Christian's family and friends on its Facebook page.

"The Cool FM organization is saddened to learn of the death of Brandon Christian," the organization wrote. "Brandon was an important player in his own way in the history of the franchise

The bureau that investigates police shootings in Quebec launched a probe of the incident late Sunday.

The bureau says provincial police received a call around 6:35 p.m. from a woman concerned for her safety, saying that her ex-partner was wearing a mask, armed with a bat and in distress.

Provincial police tracked down the 47-year-old man -- who they say seemed confused and aggressive -- on the streets of St-Georges, a town about 100 kilometres south of Quebec City.

The bureau says officers attempted without success to stop him using a stun gun and pepper spray.

Christian was struck by a police bullet and was transported to hospital, where he later died.

Investigators, who are being assisted by Quebec City police, had concluded their work at the scene of the shooting and left the area shortly after noon on Monday.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 3, 2020.