A man was found not guilty of attempted murder, but guilty on lesser charges including assault with a weapon, after a downtown shooting involving Saskatoon police in September 2017.
A Saskatoon Court of Queen’s Bench judge found Mike Arcand, 35, also guilty of four other gun-related offences in connection to the incident that caused chaos on 4th Avenue South.
Crown prosecutor Todd Wellsch said attempted murder is one of the hardest charges to prove under the Criminal Code.
“You have to prove a specific intent, to kill a specific person,” said Wellsch outside of court on Thursday.
Although guilty of five charges, Arcand will be sentenced on two counts to prevent multiple convictions for a single criminal act.
This includes intentionally discharging a firearm with intent to wound or prevent arrest, as well as carrying a weapon dangerous to the public peace.
In his decision, Justice Jeff Kalmakoff said he did not believe the reliability or credibility of Arcand’s testimony during the trial.
He said video exhibits also discredited Arcand’s testimony.
READ MORE: Shots fired in downtown Saskatoon
On the afternoon of Sept. 27, 2017, Arcand said he sat in a parking lot along 4th Avenue South waiting for his girlfriend to finish her school day at Saskatchewan Indian Institute of Technologies (SIIT).
It was then he discovered a homemade gun he had forgotten about and built while living on the Onion Lake Cree Nation. Arcand testified he had assembled it by watching videos and with various parts in his yard.
It was for his own protection, he told court, and to safeguard young children in the home against gangs that were out of control on the First Nation.
He told court at some point, with the weapon in hand, his car door shut and he realized he was locked out of his vehicle as he stood in the parking lot.
Arcand, who had been up for two days on meth, said he panicked about what police would find inside the car so he smashed his own driver side window, ingested drugs and grabbed shotgun shells for the slam gun. Reports poured into police of a man trying to break into vehicles.
When the canine unit arrived, Arcand said he told the officer it was his own vehicle and told court he was terrified of the dog having been bit twice before.
So he ran, thinking he would dump the gun, go to the school and everything could be explained away – but he didn’t.
The doors to SITT were locked and he was swarmed by police. A bean-bag gun was deployed and Tasers plunged into his leather jacket.
According to Arcand, he flinched and that’s when his gun went off.
He continued to flee on foot with police in hot pursuit. He shot at a police dog and was finally taken down by four shots and the canine.
Saskatoon police Const. Cole Miklautsch testified to responding to the call of a downtown break and enter. He arrived within minutes and observed Arcand with a steel pipe in his hand.
Miklautsch told court he tried to engage Arcand several times but there was no reaction.
According to the member of the canine unit, things escalated pretty quickly after that because of one thing – a homemade gun disguised as a simple steel pipe.
When told by the officer to drop the pipe, Arcand revealed the weapon he was wielding was a gun and fled the scene on foot.
By that time, Miklautsch testified that back-up began to pour onto the scene. He could hear the distinct crackle of a Taser being used and bean-bag rounds being deployed to bring Arcand to a stop.
At one point, the officer believes a fellow member of the force had been shot by the accused and unleashed his dog on Arcand.
“I thought he was going to kill me – that’s when I drew my firearm and shot. I shot three times,” Miklautsch said.
On the stand, Arcand admitted to knowing the slam gun could kill someone if shot at close range. The Crown pointed out that multiple times Arcand could have just surrendered.
His sentencing is expected to take place on April 24.
Wellsch said the Crown will seek a prison sentence in excess of four years.
–With files from Meaghan Craig
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