Man shot by cops, unable to talk with lawyer

Mark McDiarmid, who was shot by police near Dawson City on Thursday, hasn't been able to speak with his lawyer. The 32-year-old was shot at least twice, maybe three times, said Andre Roothman, who was only able to see his client briefly at the hospital over the weekend.

Mark McDiarmid, who was shot by police near Dawson City on Thursday, hasn’t been able to speak with his lawyer.

The 32-year-old was shot at least twice, maybe three times, said Andre Roothman, who was only able to see his client briefly at the hospital over the weekend.

Two guards have been posted outside of McDiarmid’s room at Whitehorse General Hospital, meaning McDiarmid is in police and Whitehorse Correctional Centre custody, Roothman said.

But the lawyer doesn’t even know what charges have been brought against his client. He hasn’t received anything from the Crown, nor has he had the chance to speak with his client about Thursday’s incident because the guards would not leave to grant privacy, he said.

From their brief meeting on Saturday, Roothman remembers one injury to McDiarmid’s shoulder, another to his hip and bandaging on his abdomen, he said.

The shooting occurred at around 9 p.m. about 50 kilometres outside of Dawson City on October 20. RCMP stopped McDiarmid’s car and attempted to arrest him in relation to an ongoing investigation as well as outstanding warrants against him, according to the Alberta Serious Incident Response Team that has been tasked by the Yukon government to investigate the case.

During the interaction, two officers fired their weapons, wounding McDiarmid with non-life-threatening injuries.

Officers only shot when they feared for their safety, the RCMP said in a release issued Monday.

A weapon was recovered from the scene, said Clif Purvis, of the response team.

“No gun was recovered from the scene,” he said. “The only weapon present was an axe – a splitting maul – a big axe.”

Purvis’ response team will try to determine what McDiarmid was doing with the axe and whether the officers broke any laws, he said.

Depending on the response team’s findings, there could be criminal charges laid on the RCMP or McDiarmid, said Roothman.

But right now, their investigation does not affect the charges already brought on McDiarmid, of which Roothman knows very little, he added.

There may also be civil charges brought against the RCMP, he said.

McDiarmid has been able to sit, upright in his hospital bed, said Roothman, who has also heard he may have started trying to walk again.

But McDiarmid is not yet fit to stand trial, nor would he before speaking with his lawyer, Roothman added.

Contact Roxanne Stasyszyn at

roxannes@yukon-news.com

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