Kolola threatened suicide after Mountie died, trial hears
“He said his life was screwed”
Pingoatuk Kolola told his former common-law spouse he wanted to commit suicide after the shooting death of RCMP Const. Douglas Scott in Kimmirut, Nov. 5, 2007, a jury in Iqaluit heard Wednesday.
Annie Manning, who was in a relationship with Kolola between 1991 and 2002, testified she received a tearful phone call from Kolola, with whom she had four children, at her Iqaluit home the night Scott was gunned down.
“He [Kolola] said his life was screwed,” Manning testified.
She asked him why.
“I think I just killed a cop,” she quoted Kolola as saying.
Manning said she didn’t believe Kolola, and he repeated the statement adding, “I’m not lying.”
Kolola had been fighting that night with his current spouse Ooleetua Judea, a spat that began over allegations that he’d kissed Manning during a recent trip to Iqaluit. Manning said Kolola regularly sent caribou and seal meat to their children in Iqaluit.
Manning testified that Kolola phoned her several times that night. He told her that he loved her and their children and said several times he wanted to kill himself.
“He was thinking of suicide,” Manning said. “I had to keep him on [the] line. I tried everything to distract him.”
During cross-examination, defence lawyer Andy Mahar showed Manning a copy of a statement she made to police shortly after Scott’s death, in which she said Kolola didn’t mean to kill Scott.
She testified she didn’t remember that, but admitted she told the police the truth in her statement.
Court also heard Wednesday from Kolola Pitsiulak, a friend who went to Kolola’s house on the night of the shooting.
Pitsiulak said Kolola was in shock, but had sobered up from the alcohol he’d been drinking earlier in the evening. Pitsiulak said Kolola smoked marijuana and cigarettes and said his normal life was over.
“I’ll be known as a cop-killer,” Kolola told Pitsiulak.
Under cross-examination, Pitsiulak didn’t budge from this evidence. Mahar suggested Kolola said he “didn’t want to be a cop-killer.” Pitsiulak denied this.
Pitsiulak also testified that he saw a shell casing near the front porch of Kolola’s house and that Kolola warned him not to touch a rifle in the kitchen.
“He didn’t want any of my fingerprints on it,” Pitsiulak said.
Nearly five hours after the ordeal began, Pitsiulak and Kolola surrendered to police together. Following police instructions, Kolola came out first, followed by Pitsiulak. They walked, without coats and hands in the air, to a spot 90 metres down the road, where police arrested Kolola.
Also Wednesday, a neighbour said he saw Kolola walking away from the scene where Scott was shot.
Matthew Tikivik testified he heard Kolola fighting with Judea and his niece Rosemary Kolola. Tikivik phoned in the initial drunk driving complaint that Scott was sent to investigate.
Tikivik later saw Pingoatuk Kolola’s truck stuck on a pile of construction materials. When Tikivik saw Scott drive up the hill to where Kolola was stuck, he thought the incident was over.
“Not long after, that’s when I heard the bang,” Tikivik said. “It sounded like a gunshot.”
Tikivik testified he saw a man carrying a rifle in one arm and a baby in the other quickly walk up the hill from the scene of the shooting. As the man came underneath the glow of a nearby streetlight, Tikivik said he recognized the man as Kolola.
“I could see the white baby blanket hanging,” Tikivik said. “I was in disbelief.”
The trial wrapped early Wednesday, because a document from a witness had not been properly translated into Inuktitut for the jury, but the trial was scheduled to resume Feb. 25.