The RCMP confirmed Sunday that one of their officers discharged their firearm at a 25-year-old Nova Scotia woman during an incident on Saturday in Dieppe, N.B.
The woman was taken to hospital with unspecified injuries.
While RCMP continue to investigate the incident, the Nova Scotia Serious Incident Response Team, an independent police oversight body, said its investigation into injuries the woman sustained is in the preliminary stages.
SIRT’s Ron Legere said the agency was called in to investigate by the New Brunswick RCMP.
“Our investigation is ongoing,” Legere said, adding no other information would be released at this time.
RCMP spokesperson Nick Arbour said he couldn’t comment on the use of force by the RCMP members or how many shots were fired because the actions of the members were under review by SIRT.
“Any questions about the use of force will have to be directed towards the Serious Incident Response Team.”
The woman was arrested after she allegedly opened fire on emergency workers responding to a motor-vehicle crash on Adélard-Savoie Boulevard, about a half kilometre from the Moncton airport. She was taken into police custody after about 45 minutes.
Her injuries are not believed to be life threatening. RCMP said no one else was hurt.
On Saturday, police said in a release a woman shot at responders, but on Sunday their release said “she took actions threatening first responders” and they believe those threats were shots, but that they won’t say for certain. They are still investigating.
When asked if discharging the firearm caused the woman’s injuries, Arbour said that was part of the investigation.
Questioned about the timeline of Saturday’s event, Arbour said after the woman exhibited the threatening behaviour toward first responders “they caught up with her 45 minutes later” to make an arrest.
Asked if she had driven away, Arbour said those details were part of the ongoing investigation.
Road remains closed
A small section of Adélard-Savoie Boulevard remained closed Sunday as RCMP and SIRT continued to investigate.
A vehicle remains in a wooded area covered by a green tarp. An RCMP vehicle, covered in snow, sat on the side of the street with two orange cones standing beside a rear tire on the passenger side of the vehicle.
Legere said investigators with SIRT were at the scene overnight Saturday and into Sunday morning.
SIRT can be called in to investigate matters that involve death, serious injury, sexual assault and domestic violence or other issues of significant public interest that may have arisen from the actions of any police officer.
“It’s a significant investigation so it’s going to take quite some time,” Legere said.
Meanwhile, Chris Hood, the executive director of the Paramedic Association of New Brunswick, said what happened is disturbing.
Hood said it is not only concerning for the general public, but also for first responders who don’t expect something like that to happen when they are trying to help someone.
“We’re not entirely clear of what the details are but all indications are somebody fired a weapon at them,” Hood said.
Hood said the paramedics association will be in contact with those on duty at the time to offer them any assistance they require.
“We’re not seeing this as an isolated incident as much as we would like to think,” Hood said. “The last few years have certainly brought to light issues where people aren’t always so happy to see first responders showing up at their doorstep.”
Hood said it appears the paramedics in Saturday’s incident reacted appropriately to the situation.