Friday, December 16, 2005

Death of a police officer

The small town of Laval, Quebec, Canada is in mourning right now. Officer Valerie Gignac and her partner were responding to a noise complaint. They went to the apartment to investigate. As Constable Gignac tried to turn away from the door, two slugs from a .338 calibre hunting rifle, possibly similar to the one pictured above, ripped through the door. One struck her just below her bullet proof vest and just above her left hip. She was just 25 years old and had been on the force for only four years. She was the youngest of five children, she is survived by her parents and her siblings.

What makes this death even more tragic is the history of the suspect. Francois Pepin, 40, was on probation from a 1999 crime that forbade him from possesing firearms for 10 years, but a quirk in the laws allowed him to own weapons for hunting. And that is the type of weapon used to kill Constable Gignac.

As for motive in this case, that is hard to tell. The news reports are focusing on Constable Gignac and her partner the week before interacting with the suspect because Francois Pepin had been harrassing another female police officer.

I agree with Dennis Cote, president of the Quebec municipal police federation,

"If you're a threat for everybody, make sure you're a threat for all 12 months in a year."

This is a loophole that needs to be closed. If someone has been banned from possesing firearms due to previous convictions, then make it a blanket ban. It boggles my mind that such a loophole could exist.

Her funeral is scheduled for next Tuesday. There already has been an outpouring of cards, sympathy, and a memorial where she was shot. Remember her and her family in your prayers for this Christmas and all future Christmases will be hard for them to endure, missing their youngest child/youngest sister due to senseless violence.


Laval cop killed by rifle powerful enough to kill an elephant.

Condolences pour into Laval, Quebec.


Anonymous said...

An utter shame. I hope that the perp did not survive to be arrested. I'm afraid that the Canadian liberals will use this to push for their gun ban, which is a shame. My feelings........if you use a gun to commit a crime, no matter what, no trial, no appeals, just a 9mm behind the ear. My sympathy to the officers family


Anna said...

He is in custody with a hearing set for Feb. 15th. And yes the gun control nuts are calling for tighter control of guns.

Her death is a tragedy that should not have happened.

Anonymous said...

And let me take a wild guess......Canada has no death penalty.


Anna said...

The Canadian death penalty was done away in 1976.

Myrtus said...

Breaks my heart! It hurts!
May she rest in peace.

Anna said...

She was buried Monday. Over 3000 police officers from across the country attended. She will be missed terribly.

"Valérie was determined and courageous....a ray of sunshine, she lives at 100 miles an hour. Take a deep breath and think of your favorite word to describe her." - her brother Steve Gignac.

Her murderer has been charged with first degree murder.