A Canadian police officer who was shot nine times by a colleague is now on trial for assault due to the confrontation that began during a toilet break.
Niagara Regional Police Constable Nathan Parker, 55, is charged with Assault with a Gun, Intent to Resist Arrest and Assaulting a Police Officer after allegedly assaulting Detective Sergeant Shane Donovan.
On Tuesday, Donovan told an Ontario court that he barely knew Parker when the two worked on a collision reconstruction scene in rural Ontario in November 2018. Donovan was leading the operation when he requested Parker to prevent residents from using the road.
The court heard that Parker had left the scene and became defensive when Donovan asked him to stay. Parker said he had to leave to use the bathroom.
‘You’re talking to a sergeant,’ Donovan told him, ‘he said.
But the confrontation escalated when Parker got out of his vehicle and pushed Donovan, the court heard.
“You are under arrest for assault,” Donovan told Parker.
Donovan told the court that Parker continued towards him, throwing a “haymaker” punch and hitting him.
The sergeant said he raised his hands in surrender and returned to his vehicle. But he was again beaten by Parker, who then drew his police-issued baton.
Fearing a blow to the head would be fatal, Donovan drew his gun.
“Ah, do you want to do that? Parker said, drawing his own gun.
“I knew if he showed the gun at me, then he would kill me – and it was either me or him,” Donovan said. “So I fired my gun until he dropped his gun. “
Investigators recovered 10 cartridge cases from the scene.
“My belief was that my life was in danger,” Donovan said. “He’s already attacked me, hit me three or four times.
Donovan told the court that his experience with Parker was the first time he drew his gun.
A medical examination revealed four gunshot wounds to Parker’s left calf, lower abdomen, left hip and the back of his right foot. He also had injuries to his nose and cheek, as well as his left shoulder and upper thigh.
Ontario’s Special Investigations Unit, which investigates shootings involving police officers, initially laid charges against Donovan, including attempted murder, but the charges were later dropped.
Donovan will continue his testimony on Wednesday in the judges’ trial.