The man suspected of killing a police officer in a routine operation Monday night in Louiseville had a criminal and mental health history and posed “a significant risk” to public safety, which he does not did not prevent him from being released under severe conditions.
Isaac Brouillard Lessard, 35, has five not guilty verdicts on account of mental disorder since 2014 for assault with a weapon and death threats, among other things, against members of the medical staff responsible for his treatment.
In connection with these charges, he was being followed up before the Mental Disorders Review Board, an administrative tribunal responsible for regularly assessing his conditions of release.
“Based on all of the evidence, the Board is satisfied that the accused continues to represent, due to his mental state, a significant security risk,” reads the latest decision in his file, dated of February 16, 2022.
Indeed, Isaac Brouillard Lessard then suffered from a schizoaffective disorder, another related to the use of amphetamines, from which he was in remission, and finally a disorder related to the use of cannabis.
The suspect, however, questioned his psychiatric follow-up and showed a “blatant lack of self-criticism” in the face of his diagnosis.
After being hospitalized for about a year and a half at the Philippe-Pinel National Institute of Forensic Psychiatry, from July 2018 to December 2019, his situation seemed to have stabilized.
However, he would have experienced a relapse from October 2021, his “psychosocial situation” would have deteriorated, according to the testimony of his attending physician, since he then stopped taking his medication. “Cognitive disorganization gradually set in,” the caregiver said.
“In the absence of a framework and follow-up, the Commission is satisfied of the likelihood that the accused will engage in criminal behavior resulting in physical or psychological harm that […] may be serious,” it was noted to its subject, still in February 2022.
The lawyer who represented the suspect during this last hearing, Me Yannick Péloquin, said he learned “with horror and dismay the tragedy of Louiseville”. “My thoughts are first with the loved ones of Constable Maureen Breau. I am also saddened by the brutal end of my client, “he added, specifying that he could not comment further on the decisions rendered by the Mental Disorders Review Board.
According to initial information, Isaac Brouillard Lessard stabbed SQ sergeant Maureen Breau on Tuesday morning before being shot.
The police force confirmed, Tuesday morning, by press release, the death of Maureen Breau, as a result of her injuries sustained during this intervention. The Bureau of Independent Investigations (BEI) has launched an investigation into this event, which occurred around 8:30 p.m. on Monday.
It all started when a duo of police officers would have moved to arrest a man concerning threats in an apartment building on Saint-Laurent Boulevard.
“During the arrest, when reading the rights, the individual would have taken a knife [which was] nearby, would then have used it in the direction of the police and he would have hit a policewoman”, specifies the BEI . According to our information, the experienced sergeant was on the second floor of the building. She fell from the balcony shortly after the attack.
A second patrol duo was also on hand for the arrest. One of the officers then allegedly fired at the 35-year-old man, fatally wounding him. The tenant had lived in this dwelling for only a few months.
Sergeant Breau, a mother, had just over 20 years of experience at the SQ and was assigned to the post of the MRC Maskinongé.
Another police officer was injured during this operation. His life is not in danger, however, says the SQ.
The mayor of Louiseville, Yvon Deshaies, appeared near the large police perimeter on Tuesday morning. This tragedy leaves him “stunned”. “You never think that’s going to happen. I am thinking of the families and our police officers who must intervene,” he told La Presse.
The elected official spoke at length with the owner of the building where the suspect lived. “He told me he wanted to fire him. He scared the world. People were afraid to approach him,” he said.
“Such an ordeal reminds us of the danger of being a police officer in the face of extreme situations such as the one faced by Sergeant Breau, her fellow police officers and the emergency telecommunications workers who supported them during this intervention. I offer my most sincere condolences to his spouse, children, family and colleagues, ”said Johanne Beausoleil, director general of the SQ, in a press release.
“Today reminds us that the police are doing dangerous and important work to ensure the safety of Quebecers,” responded Public Security Minister François Bonnardel in a message posted on social media.
“Appalling. All my thoughts are with Sergeant Maureen Breau’s colleagues, loved ones and family,” Quebec Premier François Legault added via his Twitter account.
“The news from Louiseville, Quebec is heartbreaking. I offer my condolences to Sergeant Maureen Breau’s family, friends and SQ colleagues, and wish the injured officer a speedy and full recovery. We are thinking of you,” shared Prime Minister of Canada Justin Trudeau.
Five BEI investigators were assigned to investigate the intervention. Given the circumstances of the event, the support services of a police force were required, namely the Service de police de la ville de Montréal (SPVM).
A parallel criminal investigation into the events that occurred was entrusted to the SPVM.