(Trois-Rivières) The parents of the man who killed a Sûreté du Québec sergeant last March in Louiseville had tried to have him forcibly hospitalized in the days preceding the fatal knife attack, due to the deterioration serious about his state of mental health.
These details were revealed Monday during the first day of hearing of the coroner’s inquest into the death of Sergeant Maureen Breau, killed with a kitchen knife on March 27, 2023 in Louiseville, in Mauricie. His alleged attacker, Isaac Brouillard Lessard, was then shot dead by SQ police officers.
Officer Breau was killed while trying to arrest Brouillard Lessard, who had a history of mental health issues. The SQ sergeant and three other colleagues were dispatched to the apartment of the suspect, who allegedly made threats and broke his probation conditions.
Another police officer was seriously injured in the stabbing attack.
Two SQ police officers shot the 35-year-old man 19 times, who died near the front door of his apartment. Sergeant Breau was transported to hospital, where she was pronounced dead shortly after 11 p.m. that evening.
The inquest by coroner Géhane Kamel, at the Trois-Rivières courthouse, learned Monday that Brouillard Lessard had sent threatening text messages and made several phone calls to his mother three days before the dramatic events of March 27.
Patrick Michaud, of the Bureau of Independent Investigations (BEI), testified Monday to a deluge of calls and messages, as well as text messages exchanged between the mother and a relative to whom she confided that her son was suffering from psychosis.
His mother recommended that this person call the police if her boy called her, without worrying too much for his own safety: the man had no money to leave Louiseville, she wrote.
Calls to forcibly hospitalize him
On March 24, Brouillard Lessard’s mother and father both called 911 to have their son arrested and forcibly hospitalized. That evening, four police officers went to Brouillard Lessard’s apartment – two of them returned three days later.
Investigator Michaud, of the “police of police,” said Monday that SQ patrol officers had not arrested Brouillard Lessard the first time, on March 24. The man was calm and admitted to having made threats, and the police then determined that they had no reason to arrest him that evening, Mr. Michaud said.
But Brouillard Lessard subsequently continued to make threats against his mother, and his father then called 911 less than an hour after the first visit by the police, to complain that they had not not stopped.
The BEI investigator emphasized in his testimony that between March 24 and 27, Brouillard Lessard attempted to call his mother 43 times and sent her 481 text messages.
On March 27, the day of the fatal attack, an uncle called police to report that Brouillard Lessard had made threats.
The investigation revealed that the SQ had already had four interactions with Brouillard Lessard between the end of December 2022 and the evening when Sergeant Breau was stabbed to death. The first took place on December 30, 2022, a few days after his move to the small municipality of Louiseville – and after an argument with another tenant of his rooming house over a missing cat.
The police then made no arrests, because neither man wanted to press charges, but an SQ police officer issued an internal bulletin to his fellow district police officers to act with caution with regard to Fog Lessard. The note noted that the man had a history of violence against healthcare workers.
Brouillard Lessard had previously been found not criminally responsible five times for previous offenses.
On January 25, the Director of Criminal and Penal Prosecutions announced that the analysis of the evidence did not reveal “the commission of a criminal offense by the police officer” of the SQ who shot Brouillard Lessard.