Off-duty Winnipeg cop escapes with his life after suspect’s gun misfires

Officer escapes attack outside Winnipeg police headquarters
WATCH: An off-duty officer escaped an attack outside Winnipeg police headquarters. Global's Amber McGuckin reports.

An off-duty Winnipeg cop narrowly escaped a life-threatening situation early Sunday morning, according to the president of the Winnipeg Police Association.

Moe Sabourin told 680 CJOB that the incident occurred on Smith Street, when an officer was walking to his vehicle after a tour of duty.

READ MORE: 3 arrested after weekend of alleged assaults involving Winnipeg police officers

The suspect had a brief exchange with the officer before drawing a gun and pulling the trigger, said Sabourin, although it apparently misfired and the officer fled to safety.

Moe Sabourin, head of the Winnipeg Police Association.
Moe Sabourin, head of the Winnipeg Police Association. Jordan Pearn / Global News

“It’s clear the individual knew the member was a police officer based on the comments that were made,” said Sabourin.

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“We have no idea what the intention was, but the actions seem pretty clear.”

In a release Monday afternoon, police said the officer saw a gun being drawn as he was driving away, following a conversation with the suspect, and no shots were fired.

Police tracked down and arrested a suspect in downtown Winnipeg Monday afternoon. He remains in custody.

READ MORE: Gun calls a growing problem in the city: Winnipeg police

Sabourin said this incident is another example of ongoing safety concerns the association has for its members’ safety.

“We had a member that was stabbed in late 2017 returning to his vehicle, and although those are the most serious events that have occurred, there have been numerous occasions where members are threatened or followed going to or from their vehicles.”

Sabourin said the officer in Sunday’s incident did the right thing by getting out of the situation.

“The equipment belt (the officer) was trained to use during use-of-force-encounters was likely not with him at the time,” he said.

“When you have a suspect with a firearm, the best course of action is to disengage and get the hell out of there, frankly.”

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Sabourin renewed calls for secure parking for police officers downtown.

Winnipeg Police Board Chair Councillor Kevin Klein says health, safety and wellness of employees is one of the biggest concerns for the board and parking safety is something that needs to be looked into further.

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