Home Canadian News Woman shot by police in Westboro was under weapons ban

Woman shot by police in Westboro was under weapons ban

Woman shot by police in Westboro was under weapons ban

The prohibition had been ordered by a court in 2021, when Morgan Rachel Laplante was convicted of assault.

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The 25-year-old woman who was shot and wounded by a police officer after fleeing a traffic stop in Westboro was under a five-year weapons ban, according to her court record, imposed in 2021, when she was convicted of assault.

Morgan Rachel Laplante faces 13 charges related to the March 22 midday incident on Avondale Avenue, where witnesses saw a woman running from an Ottawa police officer yelling at her to stop in the moments before she was shot.

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Eyewitnesses said the woman turned, brandishing what appeared to be a gun, when the officer fired. She was treated by paramedics and rushed to hospital in critical condition.

Laplante made her first court appearance this past Tuesday from her hospital bed, where she was formally charged with assaulting a police officer, assault with a weapon and multiple firearms offences, including the allegation she was carrying a loaded handgun when the car was stopped at the intersection of Churchill and Avondale avenue.

The police officer who was allegedly assaulted by Laplante during the confrontation is identified in court documents as Ottawa Police Service Const. Patrick Wiseman.

The police service would not confirm the identity of the officer involved in the shooting and directed all media inquiries to the province’s Special Investigations Unit, which has taken over the investigation.

SIU spokesperson Monica Hudon said the agency was “not in a position to confirm/release the identity of the subject officer or the woman who sustained the injury.”

Laplante was charged with assaulting a peace officer and assault with a weapon, a charge that alleges she used, threatened to use or carried a weapon during the assault.

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She was charged with careless use/storage of a firearm, pointing a firearm, possessing a weapon dangerous to the public peace and knowingly possessing a restricted firearm without a licence or registration certificate.

She was under a five-year weapons prohibition, according to her prior criminal record, imposed in October 2021 following a conviction for assault.

She was charged last week with violating that probation order, which specified she was “not to possess or carry, for any reason, (offensive) weapons or restricted weapons or imitation weapons … or anything designed to be used or intended for use to cause death or injury, or to threaten or intimidate any person.”

Laplante was initially charged on April 7, 2019, with assaulting three people — two females and one male — inside a McDonald’s restaurant on Carling Avenue, and she was also charged with wilfully damaging a cash register and some “pastries.”

She was convicted on one count of assault, while the other charges were withdrawn, and received a 90-day conditional sentence with 12 months’ probation.

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The conviction came with a discretionary weapons ban, which was imposed for five years on Oct. 5, 2021, by Ontario Court Justice Mitch Hoffman, who also ordered Laplante to submit a DNA sample.

She was banned from the McDonald’s at 2625 Carling Ave. and ordered to participate in psychological counselling.

She was found guilty of breaching her probation in June 2022 and ordered to serve the remainder of her sentence in custody.

Laplante was previously handed a two-year weapons ban in 2018 after she was found guilty of assault causing bodily harm to another female.

She was handed a six-month conditional sentence with 12 months’ probation at that time and was ordered by Justice Catherine Kehoe to participate in anger management counselling and treatment for substance and alcohol abuse.

She was charged with the assault in January 2017. She was also charged in July 2017 with mischief for “wilfully” damaging a door at the Villa Vista apartment building on Fairlea Crescent in the Heron Gate neighbourhood.

Her court record lists several different addresses, with her most recent court file identifying Laplante as a resident of Richmond, about 30 kilometres south of Ottawa.

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Her defence lawyer, Dawn Dickinson of the McElroy Law Firm, did not return a request for comment. Laplante was represented in previous criminal matters by Anne-Marie McElroy.

According to the SIU’s initial statement, the unnamed officer initiated the traffic stop at about 1:30 p.m. on March 22. The woman then left the vehicle and fled on foot with the officer in pursuit.

“At some point, the officer discharged his firearm and the woman was struck,” the agency said, adding that three SIU investigators and two forensic investigators had been assigned to the case.

The SIU investigates incidents involving police in Ontario when shots are fired by an official at a person or there is a serious injury, death or allegations of sexual assault.

Laplante’s next court appearance is scheduled for Tuesday.


With files from Marlo Glass and Lynn Saxberg

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