Woman shot by police in Westboro appears in court from hospital bed

Her defense attorney told the court that Morgan Rachel Laplante was still recovering from a gunshot wound. The matter was adjourned until next week.

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The 25-year-old woman who was shot by police after a traffic stop in Westboro last week appeared in court from her hospital bed Tuesday, when she was formally charged with assaulting a police officer and multiple criminal offenses. Firearms.

Morgan Rachel Laplante made her first appearance before a judge Tuesday in a hearing facilitated by a police officer with a cellphone at Laplante’s hospital bed, where she remained in the intensive care unit.

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His defense attorney told the court that Laplante was still recovering from a gunshot wound.

No further details were provided at the brief hearing and the matter was adjourned until next week.

According to his court record, Laplante faces 13 charges related to the March 22 incident, when he was shot by a police officer after fleeing a traffic stop near Churchill Avenue and Avondale Avenue in the Westboro neighborhood.

The officer who was allegedly assaulted by Laplante during the confrontation is identified in court documents as Const. of the Ottawa Police Service. Patrick Wiseman.

Court documents do not specify which officer shot the suspect.

Ottawa Police Service spokesperson Const. Mike Cudrasov would not confirm the identity of the officer involved in the shooting and directed all media inquiries to the province’s Special Investigations Unit, which took over the investigation.

In a statement Wednesday, the SIU said the investigation was ongoing and would not confirm the identity of the “subject officer or the female who suffered the injury.”

According to the SIU’s initial statement, the unnamed officer had initiated the traffic stop around 1:30 pm that day when the woman abandoned the vehicle and fled on foot with the officer in pursuit.

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“At some point, the officer fired his firearm and the woman was struck,” the agency said. Three SIU investigators and two forensic investigators were assigned to the case.

Ottawa paramedics confirmed they responded to a call on Avondale Avenue around 1:30 p.m., then treated and transported a woman with a critical gunshot wound to hospital.

In an update on Sunday, the SIU said the woman was in “serious or critical condition” in hospital.

The SIU investigates incidents involving police in Ontario when an officer shoots a person or there are serious injuries, death or allegations of sexual assault.

According to allegations outlined in her court file, Laplante had a loaded gun in her car when the officer stopped her.

She is accused of assaulting Wiseman, who is referred to in the document as “a peace officer committed to the line of duty.”

The assault with a weapon charge alleges that she “used, threatened to use, or carried” a weapon during the alleged assault, although no details of the assault were provided.

Laplante is also charged with careless use/storage of a firearm, pointing a firearm, possessing a weapon dangerous to the public peace and knowingly possessing a restricted firearm without a license or registration certificate.

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She is also accused of violating a prior release order by allegedly possessing the pistol while under a court-ordered weapons ban, which specified that she “shall not possess or carry, for any reason, any (offensive) weapons or restricted or imitation weapons.” “. weapons”.

Laplante was carrying the gun while “on the run on a release order,” according to her court file.

Ottawa court staff confirmed Wednesday that Laplante had a criminal record with charges filed in 2018, 2021 and 2022.

No further details on those criminal charges were immediately available.

His defense attorney, Dawn Dickinson of the McElroy Law Firm, did not immediately respond to a request for comment Wednesday.

Laplante was represented in previous criminal matters by Anne-Marie McElroy. Laplante resides in the city of Richmond, according to his court records, about 30 kilometers south of downtown Ottawa.

The accusations against him have not been proven in court.

Multiple witnesses told this newspaper that police were chasing the woman on foot in Westboro and that she appeared to be carrying a gun before she was shot.

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“We both heard, ‘Leave it, leave it,’” one witness said. Another witness said the officer was telling the woman “to drop the gun.”

Neighborhood residents said they were later assured by police that there was no danger to the public and that the incident had originated elsewhere.

Melissa Dickey and Peter St. John witnessed the shooting from their second-story window overlooking Avondale Avenue. St. John said he saw a young officer in an OPS uniform yell at a young woman with long brown hair to stop.

Instead, the woman turned, brandishing what appeared to be a gun, and the officer fired.

Dickey and St. John counted four shots fired as the woman fell to the street.

“I saw her get shot and fall to the ground,” St. John said. “The officer was obviously very distressed. “It was a situation no officer would ever want to be in.”

Other officers sprang into action, the couple said, providing medical care to the woman and providing support to their colleague. Moments later an ambulance and several more police vehicles arrived to secure the scene.

Dickey said he heard the suspect shout in anger from the stretcher. “I heard her say, ‘What the fuck? Why did you shoot me? and then I thought she was fine.”

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SIU officers arrived more than an hour later, the couple said.

Ottawa Police Association president Matthew Cox said Wednesday he could not comment on the identity of the officer involved.

“The officer was put in an unfortunate situation and responded the way they are trained to respond,” Cox said. “It is never easy to get through the investigation phase, but the officer is fine and has the support of the association and the police service.

“We are grateful that our officer and no innocent bystanders were injured or killed in this incident.”

With files from Marlo Glass and Lynn Saxberg

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