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'Our officers were ambushed': 1 OPP officer killed, 2 others injured in Bourget, Ont. shooting


An Ontario Provincial Police officer was killed and two others injured when they were ambushed while responding to reports of gunshots in Bourget, Ont., OPP Commissioner Thomas Carrique says.

The shooting happened early Thursday morning in the small community in the municipality of Clarence-Rockland, approximately 50 kilometres east of downtown Ottawa.

OPP say around 2 a.m., officers were called to a disturbance at a home on Laval Street where someone reported hearing a gunshot.

"This morning, at just after 2 a.m. our officers responded to a sound of gunshots that was reported by a citizen," Commissioner Carrique said Thursday afternoon during a media conference at the OPP headquarters in Kanata.

"They arrived at a residence on Laval Street in Bourget, and upon arrival three of our officers were ambushed and shot. Tragically, 42-year-old Sgt. Eric Mueller was killed and two other veteran OPP officers were injured."

Carrique said Mueller, of the Russell County OPP Detachment, was "murdered simply, selflessly serving his community."

One of the injured OPP officers, a 43-year-old with 19 years of service on the force, remains at the Ottawa Hospital. Carrique said he is in “stable, but critical” condition.

The other officer, a 35-year-old man with 10 years of service, has been released and is recovering at home.

OPP said one person has been taken into custody and there is no risk to public safety.

"A 39-year-old male was arrested and was taken into custody without further incident by heroic officers that were responding in aid to their injured colleagues," Carrique said, adding that the individual was not known to police and was uninjured.

Court documents show Alain Bellefeuille, 39-years-old of Bourget, Ont., is charged with one count of first-degree murder in the death of Sgt. Mueller, and two counts of attempted murder.

Bellefeuille appeared in court in L'Orignal on Thursday afternoon and was remanded in custody.

Ontario Provincial Police cruisers parked at a home in Bourget, Ont. as the investigation continues into a shooting that killed an OPP officer on Thursday. (CP24)

Carrique said that the reported gunshots that led to the disturbance call were not confirmed.

"Gunshots, sounds of gunshots were unconfirmed," he said. "Officers arrived within minutes of each other. Eventually three officers were on scene at the time of the shooting."

Sgt. Mueller started his career with the Ontario Provincial Police 21 years ago as a special constable in the OPP offender transport unit in Ottawa. Carrique says he was hired as a constable in 2006 and promoted to sergeant in 2018.

"He is described by his colleagues as a coach, a mentor, someone that everybody looked up to, the glue that held his shift together, the best leader that many people had ever had the privilege of working for," Carrique said.

“Our hearts are broken as we remember Eric, we stand beside his family and we focus our attention on the recovery of the officers who have been physically injured and emotionally impacted."

Laval Street remains closed, with OPP officers blocking access to the street in the area where the shooting occurred. There is a large police presence in Bourget, with Ottawa police supporting the OPP operation.

More than a dozen Ottawa police and OPP vehicles escorted a vehicle carrying Mueller's body from the Ottawa Hospital Civic Campus to the Ottawa Hospital General Campus just before 12 p.m. The coroner's office is located at the General Campus.

Ottawa police and Ontario Provincial Police cruisers escort a vehicle carrying the body of OPP Sgt. Eric Mueller to the Ottawa Hospital General Campus on Thursday, (Dave Charbonneau/CTV News Ottawa)

"Very sad', community reacts to death of OPP officer 

Flags are flying at half-mast at Rockland City Hall.

Residents in the community of 1,200 people woke up to the sight of police cruisers on the street.

"Waking up to this is not very easy at all," said Veronique Poirier Larabie.

"To be honest, I really want to cry right now because that is very sad. The people out here really seem super nice; I do not expect this to happen here, especially down the street from myself."

Bourget resident Madison Bach, who lives down the street from the house where the shooting occurred, said her husband thought he heard something around 2:15 a.m., but thought it may be the family's dog and went back to bed. It was this morning when they realized the shooting happened just down the street from their home.

"It's really terrifying," Bach told reporters about the shooting in the community. "Very quiet, very safe, lots of schools present. When something like this that you don't think can happen close to you and it has, it makes you re-evaluate things."

Bach said she hadn't spoken to anyone who lived in the house where the shooting occurred.

"We're just scared."

Clarence-Rockland Mayor Mario Zanth says he was "saddened and dismayed" to learn of the fatal shooting in Bourget.

"There are no words that can express the pain that the residents of the City of Clarence-Rockland are feeling at this time. I wish to offer my deepest condolences to the family and fellow officers," Zanth said in a statement.

"Two officers were also injured during this event and are currently in hospital. We wish them a full and speedy recovery and send our warmest thoughts to their families."

Premier Doug Ford says Sgt. Mueller was "senselessly killed in the line of duty."

"My thoughts are with his family and friends," Ford said on Twitter. "Please join me in praying for his fellow officers as we await word on their condition. May God bless our heroes in uniform."

Federal politicians offer condolences

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau issued a statement on Twitter, calling the shooting death of the OPP officer "awful news."

"I'm sending my deepest condolences to the family, friends, and colleagues of OPP Sergeant Eric Mueller, who was killed in the line of duty, and I'm keeping the two injured officers in my thoughts."

Speaking to reporters at Rideau Hall, the prime minister said the federal government is looking for ways to keep police officers safe, adding the deaths of officers in the line of duty "has to stop."

"It has happened far too often, over the past many months across this country, that we've lost police officers in the line of duty, serving our community," Trudeau said.

"I've been working with the Minister of Public Safety and with the Minister of Justice to see what more we can do to keep them safe, but this has to stop. We need to be there to protect the people who put their lives on the line every day to protect the rest of us. That's something we continue to look at."

Conservative leader Pierre Poilievre said on Twitter, "We mourn with the family of the OPP officer killed in the line of duty early this morning, and pray for the other two officers who were shot and are currently in hospital."

"Most of us will never know the risk police officers take every single day when they say goodbye to their families and go to work. We must never take their sacrifice for granted."

NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh offered condolences to Mueller's family, calling it "tragic news that another police officer has been shot and killed."

"I extend deep sympathy to the family, colleagues and loved ones of Sgt. Eric Mueller," Singh said on Twitter.

"We are hoping for a quick recovery of the other two officers who were injured." Top Stories

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