Man involved in two Iqaluit standoffs to serve jail time
Oolayou Shoo sentenced to just over two years for several firearms offences
A man who pointed his rifle at several Iqaluit RCMP officers in two separate standoffs over the period of six weeks has been sentenced to just over two years’ jail time.
Oolayou Shoo will actually spend about eight and a half months in jail due to credit for time served, according to a Dec. 22 Nunavut Court of Justice sentencing document written by Justice Susan Cooper, released Monday.
The 25-year-old was charged with unlawful storage of firearms, possession of a weapon for a dangerous purpose and pointing a firearm after he was arrested following a 13-hour standoff with Iqaluit RCMP officers on Oct. 2, 2019.
Police were responding to a complaint about a domestic situation just after midnight when they found Shoo had locked himself inside the residence with his two children, aged six and two, according to the sentencing document. His partner was outside.
Shoo, who was intoxicated and armed with a rifle, threatened to take his own life in front of his kids, and pointed his gun at an officer who approached a window.
About 13 hours later, Shoo carried his two-year-old out of the home and attempted to drive away on his ATV. Police blocked his departure and arrested him without incident.
Six weeks later, on Dec. 17, 2019, Iqaluit RCMP officers found Shoo barricaded in a bedroom of his partner’s home, again intoxicated and armed with a rifle, according to the document. The officers discovered him there after responding to a complaint that Shoo had been identified as an intoxicated driver.
Shoo had a rifle placed under his chin and was yelling at the officers to leave.
This standoff lasted five hours and resulted in the arrival of a critical response team. Shoo repeatedly came out of the residence and pointed his rifle at officers before he was arrested peacefully.
RCMP charged Shoo with pointing a firearm, unlawful storage of a firearm and for breaching two release conditions.
In what Cooper called an “acceptance of responsibility,” Shoo pleaded guilty to all charges from both incidents.
Cooper based her sentence on a number of factors, including that Shoo is believed to have undiagnosed mental health issues, and is on a waiting list for counselling.
She also listed a number of aggravating circumstances with the cases, including the fact that children were present on both occasions.
“It is simply common sense that these incidence would have been traumatic for those involved,” stated Cooper in her decision. “In particular, the children who saw the incidents, some of whom were in the residence with Mr. Shoo on the first occasion, would be deeply impacted.”
Cooper also specifically noted that during the December standoff Shoo pointed a weapon at five different officers, and pointed out that it is “concerning” he has a prior conviction for pointing a firearm in 2014.
According to the judgement, Shoo, with the help of his mother, has also had an initial consultation with a doctor and is on a waiting list to access counselling for his depression.
Cooper also took the time to use Shoo’s sentencing to highlight a perceived increase in firearms offences in Nunavut in recent years. Although she said she couldn’t find data on the issue, she did find that relative to rest of Canada, the rate of firearms offences in Nunavut is “exceedingly high.”
Citing Statistics Canada from 2016, she noted the national rate for firearms related violent offences per 100,000 was 18.6 for adults and 46.1 for youth. In Nunavut, that rate was 100.7 for adults and 105.5 for youth.
“I implore the respected hunters in our communities, our elders, and our political leaders, to speak out about firearm safety,” Cooper states in her decision.
“It is simply too easy for angry, depressed, intoxicated persons to access firearms.”
While the data isn’t specific to Shoo’s charges, Cooper did say it factored into her decision, because the “context in which the offence is committed, including the prevalence of the offence in the community, is relevant to sentencing.”
In addition to the remaining 256-day sentence, Shoo will also face a 10-year ban on owning firearms.