July 12th, 2024

Suspect carrying replica firearm receives 90 days


By Delon Shurtz - Lethbridge Herald on March 10, 2022.

LETHBRIDGE HERALDdshurtz@lethbridgeherald.com

A homeless man is lucky he wasn’t shot by police when he tried to pull a replica firearm from his waistband.
Lethbridge police received a 911 call on Sept. 3 of last year about a man who was seen carrying a long-barrel handgun on 7 Avenue South. When police arrived, a witness directed them to the suspect, Kirk Wilmer Crow Eagle, who was nearby and reached for his waistband as officers approached him. Fortunately his actions did not precipitate a shooting.
“Officers were able to break the gun free as he grabbed it from his waistband,” Crown prosecutor Dawn Janecke said Wednesday in Lethbridge provincial court, where Crow Eagle pleaded guilty to a charge of possession of a weapon for a dangerous purpose.
The firearm turned out to be a pellet gun, Janecke pointed out, and Crow Eagle, who was “extremely intoxicated,” was arrested.
Crow Eagle, 26, also pleaded guilty to charges of theft under $5,000, forcible entry and breach of release conditions.
On July 21, 2021 Crow Eagle was in Shoppers Drug Mart at the Park Place mall downtown, when he grabbed a $240 TV and fled into Galt Gardens across the street. Although police officers were unable to find the suspect based on descriptions, they identified him after looking at video surveillance photos.
Then at about 4 a.m. last Thursday police received a complaint from a northside resident who said a man was trying to break into his neighbour’s backyard shed. The suspect was gone when police arrived, but a police dog followed footprints in the snow to a house across the street where police arrested Crow Eagle.
Janecke noted that although Crow Eagle was able to pry open the shed, he didn’t take anything. She added Crow Eagle was on release conditions at the time that subjected him to a curfew between 9 p.m. and 7 a.m.
Crow Eagle, who was sentenced to 90 days in jail minus nine days spent in remand custody, has been homeless the past couple of years, explained Lethbridge lawyer Vincent Guinan. Guinan said his client faces many challenges and is dependent on social support agencies to help him navigate life.
“It’s been especially tough on him during the pandemic,” Guinan told court. “The challenges that we all faced, were magnified and intensified to him as a homeless street person throughout the last couple of years.”

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A homeless man is lucky he wasn’t shot by police….” That is a curious way of framing this story.