Police continue to investigate how the man found the firearm in the July 29th incident
Charges have been laid on 29 year old Brent Cantre of Big Island Lake Cree Territory, Saskatchewan following an incident on July 29th. Police and witnesses allege Cantre pointed a rifle at vehicles passing by the hospital around 6:00 am on the 29th. Cantre will be in Cold Lake Provincial Court on August 24th at 10:00 am to address charges stemming from that day.
Charges include robbery with a firearm, careless use of a firearm, possession of a weapon for a dangerous purpose, three counts of pointing a firearm, unauthorized possession of a firearm, possession of a weapon obtained by crime, possession of stolen property under $5000 and mischief under $5000.
“Ultimately, it will be up to the courts to decide his fitness to stand trial and whether he is fit to stand trial,” explains S/Sgt of the the Cold Lake Detachment, Jeremie Landry. “This was clearly a dangerous situation and the responding RCMP members did a phenomenal job negotiating this male to drop the firearm and to surrender. It could have resulted in very serious consequences. We’re glad it ended peacefully.”
Cantre was a patient at the Cold Lake hospital, when it is believed that he left his room at the hospital and went into the parking lot. He then found an unlocked vehicle and popped the trunk to discover a shotgun inside. The shotgun was not believed to be loaded; however there was ammunition near the shotgun. Cantre then loaded the gun and attempted to steal a vehicle at gun point; which resulted in the robbery charged. It is believed Cantre then pointed the shotgun at at least three vehicles.
“We haven’t concluded our investigation, but we believe he accessed the firearm from a vehicle that was parked in the vicinity of the hospital. We’re investigating that avenue, number 1 – who owns the shotgun, 2 – why it was in the vehicle and 3 – whether or not any sections of the criminal code were breached by the owner of the shotgun, in the manner of which it was left in the vehicle.” S/Sgt Landry explains that leaving a gun in the trunk of a vehicle, when the vehicle is not locked is “definitely breaches the criminal code.”
The incident, explains S/Sgt Landry, “highlights the dangers of having firearms in vehicles and easily accessible to people.” There are certain requirements for storage and transportation, “it definitely cannot be left loaded. There’s regulations that allow for the transportation of a firearm in a vehicle and it cannot be loaded.”
The investigation into how Cantre obtained the gun is ongoing and it is unknown who the gun belongs to. RCMP have a description of the vehicle that the gun is believe to have originated from, but no one has come forward at this time to report their gun being stolen or missing.
If you have any information regarding the shotgun or any part of this case, contact the Cold Lake RCMP Detachment 780-594-3302 or Crimestoppers 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).