NEWS
02/01/2018 12:27 EST | Updated 02/01/2018 19:01 EST

Maniwaki Courthouse Altercation Led To 18-Year-Old Being Shot In Head: Police Watchdog

He is in stable condition.

Police stand in the front doors of the courthouse in Maniwaki, Que. after two people were injured in a shooting there, on Wednesday, Jan. 31, 2018.
Justin Tang/The Canadian Press
Police stand in the front doors of the courthouse in Maniwaki, Que. after two people were injured in a shooting there, on Wednesday, Jan. 31, 2018.

MANIWAKI, Que. — An 18-year-old man was in stable condition on Thursday after he was shot in the head following an altercation with a special constable at a courthouse in Maniwaki, Que.

A spokesperson for Quebec's independent police watchdog added the constable, who was also injured, was out of danger.

Esther Tremblay said investigators left the scene at about 5:30 a.m. on Thursday and the investigation was ongoing.

The bureau of independent investigations released a statement on Wednesday saying the man managed to seize the constable's baton and allegedly used it to strike the officer over the head at the courthouse, about 130 kilometres north of Ottawa.

"Sometimes, like in many courthouses, there are emotions that overflow. But something like that has never happened there."Quebec Justice Minister Stephanie Vallee

The constable then took out a gun and fired it, hitting the 18-year-old at least once in the head.

A woman who said she was the man's mother wrote on Facebook that her son was stable and that the bullet hadn't hit his brain.

"He is strong and he is fighting for his life,'' she wrote late Wednesday.

On Thursday, she posted photos that showed him in a hospital bed hooked up to tubes and wearing a neck brace, his eyelids purple and swollen.

A bystander uploaded a video to YouTube purporting to show the incident, showing someone in uniform grappling with a man in a room lined with chairs, who is eventually joined by several other uniformed agents.

Warning: footage of the incident may be upsetting to some users.

Justin Tang/The Canadian Press
Police stand in the front doors of the courthouse in Maniwaki, Que. after two people were injured in a shooting there, on Wednesday, Jan. 31, 2018.

Moments later, the video shows an officer seemingly pointing a gun and shooting once towards a target that is off-camera, followed by people screaming and crying.

In Quebec City, Justice Minister Stephanie Vallee said that, as a mother and a lawyer, she was "profoundly touched'' by the news of the shooting.

Vallee, who has practiced law in the region, said there are occasional outbursts at the Maniwaki courthouse but never anything of the magnitude of Wednesday's incident.

"Sometimes, like in many courthouses, there are emotions that overflow,'' she said following a caucus meeting. "But something like that has never happened there.''

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