June 22nd, 2024

Tent camp shooter sentenced to three years of incarceration

By Delon Shurtz - Lethbridge Herald on January 20, 2023.

LETHBRIDGE HERALDdshurtz@lethbridgeherald.com

On July 10 of last year Nathan Parker Spearchief was in “tent city,” a temporary camp in the 500 block of Stafford Drive South that had been set up by the city’s homeless population. He was approached by another man who angrily accused him of being a “skinner,” which is slang for someone who commits sexual assaults.

Spearchief took offence, pulled out a .22 calibre rifle that had been altered to nearly the size of a handgun, and shot his accuser in the leg.

Spearchief left the area but was later tracked down by police and confessed.

“He freely admitted that he had done this and appeared less than fully repentant for doing so,” Crown Prosecutor Clayton Giles said Thursday in Lethbridge provincial court, where Spearchief pleaded guilty to charges of aggravated assault, unauthorized possession of a firearm, and use of a firearm while committing an indictable offence.

Giles pointed out Spearchief, who attended court by CCTV from the Lethbridge Correctional Centre, also told police that if the incident was to happen again, he would do the same thing.

The victim was treated at the hospital, but aside from a scar, doesn’t suffer from any long-term consequences of being shot.

Spearchief also pleaded guilty to a charge of assault with a weapon relating to an incident on June 1, 2022 when he went to a family member’s home looking for a sawed-off rifle, likely the same rifle used in the shooting the following month.

While at the home he got into a dispute with a woman over the firearm, during which she was stabbed in the hand with a screwdriver.

Spearchief was sentenced to 39 months in a federal prison, but given credit for the equivalent of nine and a half months in pre-disposition custody, leaving less than 30 months to serve.

“I’m sorry for the crimes I’ve committed against my community, and hopefully when I get out and I’m fully rehabilitated that my community accepts me back,” Spearchief told the judge. “I struggled with drugs and addiction in these last few years that led up to this incident and everything, and now I know that me being in here (jail) has done me some good because I’ve been clean for seven months, and I’m not the same person I was that led up to these convictions.”

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These types of incidents have increased across North America. Violence, assaults, assaults on women who are trafficked by their ‘husbands’ as they call them . . . in Vancouver a young RCMP killed by a resident in an encampment while EMS have had to duck for cover when responding and shots rang out . . . encampments breed violence and criminality!
They were not the most vulnerable, but criminals who used the encampment as a base of operations for the night time crime activity and prostitution.