'Somebody is going to be hurt'

Teen gang throws firebombs at KRPF house


A gang of unruly teenagers nearly blew up a police truck and a transit house occupied by two members of the Kativik Regional Police Force in Kangiqsujuaq this past week.

"I heard a breaking of glass and a big whoof and I looked out, and I saw flames," said Shawn Macdonald, a KRPF member stationed in the community.

Macdonald said about midnight on Wednesday, Aug. 15, the teens threw three firebombs that landed within 15 or 20 feet of the KRPF transit house where he and his partner were completing paperwork.

The teens also threw homemade firebombs at a truck parked at the transit house shared by the community's two KRPF members and pelted the dwelling's windows with rocks.

Fortunately, their aim was bad: the truck and house escaped the firebombs, only windows were broken and no one was injured.

The kind of primitive firebomb they threw – a gasoline-filled glass bottle with a fuel-soaked rag as a fuse – is called a "Molotov cocktail" after Vyacheslav Molotov, a prominent member of the Soviet Union's government during the Stalinist era.

The term "Molotov cocktail" was coined by Finns who used gasoline bombs as weapons during their resistance to the Soviet invasion of Finland in 1940.

The Molotov cocktail is cheap and simple to make. After the fuse is lit and the bottle hurled against a target, the bottle smashes and the gas ignites, causing an explosive fireball.

On the night of Thursday, Aug. 16, police say the teen gang once again targeted the transit house and launched two more Molotov cocktails in its direction. One firebomb landed close to the house, the other near the police truck.

"I'm here to protect this community. When they're targeting my police truck, which is a tool, they are trying to take my tools away. Who will they call when mum's being assaulted? The police is who they call first, and now they're trying to take away this tool which can help them," MacDonald said.

On Aug. 17 and 19, the gang returned and "rained rocks" on the house, breaking a bedroom window.

By this past Monday, police had managed to identify nine suspects. All but one are under 18.

Police say the youth who participated in the attacks on the transit house apparently wanted "to be chased by the police" – simply for the thrill.

Police expect the perpetrators to be charged with mischief and the use of an explosive device.

"Action has to be taken," MacDonald said. "Somebody is going to be hurt."

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