By Lloyd Dolha
The Regina Police Service has been called in to investigate a shooting incident involving an RCMP officer in northern Manitoba. A man identified as 28-year-old Craig Peters was shot by police during a disturbance involving multiple assaults at the Long Plain First Nation near Portage la Prairie early Saturday morning on November 19th. Residents say the officer fired twice and hit the man once in the stomach.
Peters is recovering in a Winnipeg hospital in stable condition. Police said the discharge of a weapon by an RCMP officer automatically triggers a review. RCMP Assistant Commissioner Bill Robinson said that officers from Regina will lead the investigation and no further details about the shooting or injuries suffered by those involved will be released until the Regina officers have begun their work.
Residents say the RCMP officer shot Peters, who was armed with a baseball bat, around 9 AM Saturday morning after an all-night drinking party had gone bad. Four other Long Plain residents, including two women, are being treated for injuries reported as a series of beatings from the baseball bat that led up to the shooting. The injuries to one woman were so severe, she had to be airlifted to Winnipeg.
Long Plains Chief David Meeches identified Craig Peters as the man shot by RCMP. RCMP said their officers are trained to shoot only when they feel their lives or the lives of others are in danger. “It is difficult to comment whether deadly force was needed,” said Meeches in an interview with the Brandon Sun. “The incident was very chaotic. In the coming days, it will become clear what happened.”
Residents said one man was severely beaten during the party. The injured man went to get help from his family, and when they returned to the home, they found two or three others, including the two women, severely beaten. Witnesses said the brawl spilled out onto the road when the lone RCMP officer arrived on the scene. One nearby resident said Peters used the bat to smash out the rear window of the officer’s SUV before the officer fired. Sgt. Line Karpish, in charge of Manitoba RCMP “D” Division’s media relations said the officer involved will have his status reviewed in light of the shooting.