Iqaluit man faces attempted murder charges

RCMP, gunman trade shots outside high school


A woman sitting inside an Iqaluit court-room wept loudly as an RCMP member brought Thomas Josephee, 20, before the court this week in connection with a dangerous shooting incident June 19 behind Inuksuk High School.

Josephee faces two counts of attempted murder with a firearm, three counts of pointing a firearm, and three other weapons charges.

Witnesses said a man used a big rifle with a scope to fire at least three or four shots, some at police officers.

Police then fired at least one shot at the man, who was positioned in an area at the back of the high school that offers a clear line of sight to Nakasuk School and other public areas.

The incident started just before 5 p.m., after most people had left the school for the day. The man, dressed in a dark hoodie and baseball cap, surrendered to police around 5:30.

Contractor Calvin Organ, who was working in the school that afternoon removing asbestos, said he went outside to load asbestos into a container when he heard two men arguing.

Organ said he saw a young man pointing a rifle at himself as an RCMP officer ordered him to drop the gun.

The officer saw Organ and ordered him back into the school.

Fellow contractor Shawn Rankin said a police officer ran into the school and ordered the 12-man crew working on the asbestos job to get out.

The men, dressed only in their boxers after getting cleaned up, were evacuated and taken back to their staff accommodations.

Two youths from Pond Inlet staying at the patient home beside the school said they saw a man with a gun walking up the old dirt road behind Frobisher Inn that leads uphill towards the school.

They were heading in the same direction until the police stopped them.

They saw a man fire three or four shots into the ground, and then another shot apparently at something, although they couldn’t see what he was shooting at.

Nadia Ciccone, an organizer for the Alianait festival, said police asked festival staff to help clear children from the basketball courts in front of Nakasuk School.

Justice of the Peace David Parks granted a request from Josephee’s lawyer to adjourn the matter until a show cause hearing scheduled for July 2.

Josephee, who had been in custody at the RCMP detachment, will also be moved into remand at the Baffin Correctional Centre.

With a report from John Bird.

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