A man who pleaded guilty to his role in an incident that left an RCMP officer shot in the head has died in prison, according to the institution housing him.
Tommy Beaulieu died on Jan. 11, according to Stony Mountain Institution, who declined to share a cause of death other than to clarify it was not related to COVID-19.
"At this time the incident is still under investigation and the coroner has yet to determine the cause of death," said Laura Kirby, manager of assessment and intervention at the prison.
Beaulieu was serving a sentence of more than 10 years after he pleaded guilty to aggravated assault of a peace officer, breaking and entering to steal a firearm and robbery with violence.
Beaulieu and a co-offender, Therae Racette-Beaulieu, set things in motion when they broke into a property near Portage la Prairie, confronting the property owner in his own garage and hitting him with a rake three times, causing an injury to the man’s face and a laceration to his elbow.
Beaulieu fled on a stolen all-terrain vehicle and Racette-Beaulieu jumped into the man’s truck and sped off — almost running the man over in the process.
The two reconvened and picked up two other co-accused, Shane Beaulieu and Delaney Houle, moving on as a group to break into two more properties near Onanole.
In one residence, the group found and stole four secured firearms and ammunition, including a camouflaged semi-automatic shotgun that was later used in the shooting of Cpl. Graeme Kingdon.
After loading the truck with stolen items, the group headed down the road where they were met by RCMP — Kingdon in one cruiser and Const. Mitch Thompson in another — responding to the report of a break-and-enter in progress.
Kingdon forced the truck off the road and into a ditch where it became stuck, and three of the accused, including Beaulieu, jumped out of the vehicle and fled with Thompson in pursuit.
When Kingdon approached the vehicle to clear it for officer safety, Racette-Beaulieu shot him from a nearby hill with a stolen 12-gauge shotgun, hitting him in the back of the head.
Upon hearing the shot, Thompson returned and tried to secure his injured partner. Racette-Beaulieu repositioned himself and fired another two rounds at the officers, hitting the front of the truck and narrowly missing them.
Tommy Beaulieu was sentenced to 13 years in prison in May 2020. At the time, Judge Shauna Hewitt-Michta said the court had to impose a sentence that would "strike fear in the hearts of offenders who might contemplate shooting police officers."
The inmate’s next of kin, police and coroner have all been notified, according to a Correctional Service Canada Press release.
Stonewall RCMP are also investigating the death, according to an RCMP press release. Foul play is not suspected.
Houle is still at large after failing to appear for his scheduled sentencing in November 2020. Shane Beaulieu is scheduled to be sentenced in Minnedosa in February.
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