Iqaluit man sentenced to 7 years for 2018 police standoff

Jerry Issuqangituq was found guilty on five charges related to a three-hour standoff

Bullet holes are seen in the windshield of an RCMP vehicle used by officers during the Dec. 22, 2018 standoff with Iqaluit resident Jerry Issuqangituq. Issuqangituq was sentenced to seven years by judge Susan Cooper on Jan. 5. (File photo)

By Meral Jamal

A Nunavut judge sentenced Jerry Issuqangituq to seven years in jail on charges related to a three-hour standoff with Iqaluit RCMP in December 2018.

Judge Susan Cooper handed down a seven-year sentence in an Iqaluit courtroom Jan. 5.

Issuqangituq, now 29, has a little less than a year left in that sentence because of the amount of time he spent in custody since his arrest on Dec. 22, 2018.

Judges often count each day spent in pre-trial custody as a day and a half. The approximately four years of pre-trial custody counts as a little more than six years toward Issuqangituq’s total sentence.

Cooper also gave Issuqangituq a firearms prohibition for 20 years. 

Issuqangituq was originally charged with 12 offences — five counts of attempted murder, five counts of discharging a firearm with intent, one count of reckless discharging of a firearm, and one count of careless use of a firearm.

But on Nov. 29 last year, Cooper found him guilty on five of those charges — three counts of discharging a firearm with intent, one count of reckless discharging of a firearm and one count of careless use of a firearm — related to the standoff. 

RCMP estimated between 50 and 150 shots were fired during the standoff, 21 of which were confirmed by Cooper, based on the evidence. 

Issuqangituq himself was shot at three times and seriously wounded by one of the shots. He had to be medevaced to Ottawa where he ended up in a coma for five months. No police officers were wounded in the incident.

The rate of firearm offences in Nunavut compared to the rest of Canada is “exceedingly high,” Cooper noted at the sentencing, calling on Nunavut hunters, elders and political leaders to speak out about firearm safety. 

“It is simply too easy for angry, depressed intoxicated persons to access firearms,” she said. “It is not enough to own locking gun cabinets and trigger locks. Their use must become a matter of habit.”

“Families and community members must be watchful of each other and take steps to ensure that those amongst us who are depressed, troubled, are prone to violent fits of anger, do not have ready access to firearms.”

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(6) Comments:

  1. Posted by John K on

    Good decision from Justice Cooper. It’s just a shame this took so long so he won’t have to serve an appropriate amount of time incarcerated.

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  2. Posted by Good Show on

    Lucky that he’s not dead. Great restraint shown by our police in this case.

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  3. Posted by 867 on

    In most instances if you aim a gun at a cop you can say goodnight. Rcmp deserve recognition is sparing this man’s life.

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  4. Posted by Thomas Shelby on

    With all the bullet holes in the windshield, how did she come up with no attempted murder charges. If this happened down south, the guy would have been shot 17 times by police and if he lived would have been charged with 5 counts of attempted murder period.

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    • Posted by John W Paul Murphy on

      Guess you just have to have ALL the facts to understand.

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