Man jailed for assault, shooting into RCMP officer’s home

23-year-old’s actions sent community of Clyde River into lockdown in December 2020

Norman Natanine, 23, of Clyde River, was sentenced Aug. 1 to five and a half years in jail after pleading guilty to assault, uttering threats and recklessly discharging a rifle into the home of the community’s RCMP detachment commander. (File photo)

By Randi Beers

A man in Clyde River has been sentenced to five and a half years in jail after a violent night on Dec. 17, 2020, during which shots were fired into an RCMP officer’s home and the community was put under lockdown.

Norman Natanine, now 23, pleaded guilty to assault, uttering threats and recklessly discharging a firearm into a dwelling. He heard his sentence handed down orally in Clyde River on Aug. 1.

Nunatsiaq News received an audio recording of the proceedings on Monday.

According to the agreed statement of facts read by Justice Susan Cooper, Natanine’s eight-year relationship with his girlfriend, with whom he has a child, had ended about a week before he committed the offences.

Natanine was intoxicated and depressed, Cooper said.

He got onto his snowmobile and found his ex-girlfriend, who was driving her own snowmobile to the Northern store.

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He rammed her from behind, causing her to fall off her snowmobile. She managed to get back onto her machine and fled to the Northern store with Natanine in pursuit.

“Mr. Natanine hit her with his snowmobile, pulling her under the machine and between the skis,” Cooper said.

“Mr. Natanine did not stop his snow machine. He continued driving it for some distance, dragging the victim.”

She managed to get herself back on her feet and ran, with one bare foot, into the Northern store where Natanine proceeded to chase her around the store until he was tackled to the floor.

From there, Natanine went to his parents’ house and unlocked a rifle from a gun case. He got back onto his snowmobile with the weapon and made his way to the RCMP detachment commander’s home.

“Mr. Natanine shot two shots through the dining room window of the officer’s house,” Cooper said.

“Immediately on the other side of the window was the dining table and chairs for the family, including an infant’s high chair.”

No one was injured in the shooting, although the officer’s wife and six children were home at the time.

Usually, at the time of day Natanine shot into the house, the children would have been sitting around the table doing school work, said Cooper.

“Because it was close to Christmas, they were baking cookies with some friends so they were not in the dining room area,” Cooper said.

“I think you remember in the photos … that showed a bullet hole in the back of the chairs.”

Natanine proceeded to drive around the community on his snowmobile for two and a half hours, evading police. During that time, he texted his former partner, threatening to kill her and her family.

This led police to order a community-wide lockdown.

“The RCMP officer whose house had been shot into called his wife and told her to gather the children and lay down on the floor away from doors and windows,” Cooper said.

“He was not able to go to them, as he had to be out looking for Mr. Natanine, who was considered an active shooter.”

Natanine ultimately surrendered and was taken into custody.

Natanine’s former partner provided a victim impact statement, which Cooper referred to in court.

“She describes being fearful and suffering nightmares of the offender trying to kill her,” Cooper said, adding the victim is concerned about future contact with Natanine and the impact of the violence on their young son.

Natanine has experienced tragedy in his own life, Cooper said, including the loss of his brother in a police shooting in May 2020.

He has a criminal record, which includes three convictions for obstructing or resisting police officers.

“Whether or not this conduct relates to his brother’s death in the context of a police shooting, I do not know,” Cooper said.

She told the court that the Crown sought a seven-year total sentence, while the defence sought four years.

Cooper listed several aggravating factors before giving her sentence: That Natanine’s assault victim is an Inuk woman; that he specifically targeted an RCMP officer’s family; and that what he did put the officer’s wife and children in danger.

Cooper accepted the guilty pleas and a “genuine” expression of remorse by Natanine as mitigating factors.

Before wrapping up, Cooper read from victim impact statements submitted by the RCMP officer and his wife.

The RCMP officer said in his statement that Natanine called him from jail about a year after the incident to apologize.

“I really respect that. I was able to tell Norman that we forgive him for what happened that day,” Cooper read.

The officer’s wife also submitted a victim impact statement that said she feels as if Natanine is more of a victim in the situation than her family.

“What kind of a person shoots a gun at a home?” she asked.

“What was the goal of doing that? What kind of misery must be in Norman’s heart? What kind of hopelessness leads to shooting a gun with the potential of seriously harming someone?”

Cooper gave Natanine 1.5 days’ credit for each day he has already spent in jail, which means he has just over a year and a half of his sentence left to serve.


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(2) Comments:

  1. Posted by Hunter on

    Play stupid games, you win stupid prizes.

    What boggles my mind is why didn’t he get a life time firearms ban for his stupid actions? Justice system is whacked.

  2. Posted by Temporal Lobe Seizure on

    “Cooper listed several aggravating factors before giving her sentence: That Natanine’s assault victim is an Inuk woman.”

    This is an odd statement. If the victim had been a different (less preferential?) race would dragging her around town by snowmobile and threatening her life longer be an aggravating factor?


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