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Un police officer recounts his face to face with the assailant | Louiseville tragedy: the death of Maureen Breau

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The hearings on Wednesday morning focused on the testimony of agent William Berrouard, who was injured by Isaac Brouillard Lessard during the police intervention which cost the lives of Maureen Breau and the assailant.

  • Francis Beaudry (View profile)Francis Beaudry

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A police officer who intervened on March 24 and 27, 2023 at Isaac Brouillard Lessard's home gave testimony at times rich in emotion on Wednesday, during which he recounted how the crucial moments of the police intervention took place which cost the lives of Maureen Breau and to his assailant.

Police officer from the Sûreté du Québec (SQ) in Louiseville, William Berrouard testified for most of the morning before the coroner. Much of his testimony focused on the first interaction he had with Isaac Brouillard Lessard, when he visited him to check on his condition.

He recounted details which completed the testimony of his colleague, police officer Élodie Lévesque, who also intervened during the evening of March 24.

Like his colleague, Mr. Berrouard was not aware of the functioning of the judgments of the Administrative Tribunal of Quebec, a judicial body which had power over Isaac Brouillard Lessard.

During the first intervention at the assailant's house, Mr. Berrouard described him as calm, collaborative, and affirmed that he answered the questions in such a way that the four police officers present judged that what 'he said was plausible.

Louiseville tragedy: the death of Maureen Breau

Consult the complete file

Louiseville tragedy: the death of Maureen Breau

Consult the complete file

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After this meeting, the police all concluded that the intervention with Isaac Brouillard Lessard should not go as far as an arrest at that time- there, despite the parents' opinion.

The coroner asked Mr. Berrouard if it was possible that the meeting of March 24 had given false assurance to the police regarding intervention with the assailant, to which the police officer responded possibly.

Relying on the bond he believed he had forged with Isaac Brouillard Lessard during the intervention with him three days earlier, Mr. Berrouard then recounted how he planned the intervention of March 27 in the evening.

He said he went to the door, knocked, tried to establish trusting contact with him and then told him that he had come to arrest him.

M. Berrouard remembers seeing the assailant pull out a knife, feeling a blow to the head, then, at that moment, trying to save his life, in particular by trying to escape to an exit corridor and barricade himself.

Questioned about certain details of the moment, the police officer had difficulty giving several details, in particular because of the state of mental and physical stress he was experiencing at that precise moment.

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The hearings continued on Wednesday with the testimony of police officers who took part in the police intervention of March 27, 2023. William Berrouard testified all morning.

I didn't know if I was dying, he said, saying he didn't know the severity of his head injury.

He recalled hearing the gunshots of his colleagues, then coming out of the place where he had barricaded himself once the danger had passed.

M. Berrouard said he then learned that Maureen Breau had been injured. He remembers seeing her walk with the help of her colleague Frédérique Poitras down the stairs of the apartment.

I saw her kneel on the ground, as if she could no longer stand on her legs, he said, his throat tight.

He said he waited for the paramedics to arrive and felt like he was waiting a long time to receive help for his colleague.< /p>

For us, time was slowing down, he said.

Police officer Constant Perreault, who was to the left of Officer Berrouard in front of the attacker's door on March 27, 2023, also shared his point of view on this intervention.

He said that at the crucial moment of the police intervention, when the assailant closed the door slightly to grab a knife, he had the reflex to leave the scene of the intervention.

What I remember is that I know he took something off the counter. I had to get out of there, explained Mr. Perreault.

The police officer said that since then he has been consumed by remorse for having made this decision in the heat of the moment.

Every day I come home to work, I say to myself: why did I shut up of the? he said.

What could I have done?, he asked.

He says that he saw Maureen Breau face to face with Isaac Brouillard Lessard at the top of the stairs, that he heard her scream and that ;he saw her get stabbed.

I don't remember drawing my gun, he said. He explained that he and police officer Frédérique Poitras both started shooting the assailant at the same time, without consulting each other.

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