One police officer killed, two injured in Bourget

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An Ontario Provincial Police officer has been killed, and two others injured after being dispatched to a disturbance call at a home in the small village of Bourget, about an hour northeast of Kemptville. Sergeant Eric Mueller was the officer killed – he was a 21-year veteran of the police force who is being remembered as an “exemplary officer”.

The incident occurred on May 11 shortly after 2:00am when officers were dispatched to a home on Laval Street in Bourget where someone had reported hearing a gunshot. The three officers from the Russell County OPP Detachment who arrived at the scene, including Sergeant Mueller, were reportedly “ambushed” and all three suffered gunshot wounds.

Sergeant Mueller was transported to the hospital and died as a result of his injuries. Two other officers suffered gunshot wounds and have been treated at the hospital. As of the time of writing, one officer has been discharged while the other officer remains in the hospital in stable condition.

A 39-year-old man from Bourget has been charged with First Degree Murder, contrary to Section 235(1) and two counts of Attempted Murder, contrary to Section 239 (1) of the Criminal Code. The accused has been remanded in custody.

Officer Bill Dickson of the OPP confirmed for the Times that no one else was present in the home besides the accused shooter when the three officers arrived at the scene. Officer Dickson also confirmed that no one else was hurt, besides the officers. 

Calls to the police regarding gunshots can sometimes happen more frequently during certain times of the year such as hunting season, but in general, such calls are rare. “Granted, at 2 o’clock in the morning… not the most common occurrence,” added Officer Dickson. 

Although Officer Dickson was not able to comment on details such as any prior history with the police that the accused shooter may have had, or any presence of mental illness, he did confirm that “there was no reason to believe that this individual posed a danger to police.”

The Municipality of North Grenville released a short statement regarding the incident shortly after it was first reported. “This is a devastating development for our region and in particular, for the OPP community. On behalf of Council and the Municipality of North Grenville, we offer our sincere condolences to Sgt. Mueller’s family, friends, colleagues and fellow officers during this difficult time,” said Mayor Nancy Peckford. “We also wish the two other officers a quick recovery and are keeping them in our thoughts and hearts.”

“This is a tragic event, one that is very close to home. Most of us will never know the risk police officers take when they go to work each and every day,” emphasized Deputy Mayor John Barclay, who is also Chair of the North Grenville Police Services Board. “We honour Sgt. Eric Mueller who made the ultimate sacrifice in the name of public safety.”

Sgt. Eric Mueller worked as a Constable in Grenville County prior to transferring to Clarence-Rockland. North Grenville Municipal flags have been lowered to half-mast.

The OPP is asking everyone to respect the wishes of Sergeant Mueller’s family for privacy as they grieve. His family and OPP colleagues are being provided with assistance to work through this horrible incident. A procession was held on May 13 departing from the Ottawa Hospital General Campus and traveling along Highway 417 eastbound to Highway 174. Members of the public were invited to join First Responders in showing their respects.

Investigators, under the direction of the OPP Criminal Investigation Branch, want to hear from anyone who may have witnessed the incident or who may have video. They should contact the police at 1-888-310-1122 or, to remain anonymous, call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).

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