A Canadian police officer who was shot nine times by a colleague is now on trial for assault over the confrontation that began over a bathroom break.
Constable Nathan Parker, 55, of the Niagara regional police, stands accused of assault with a weapon, intent to resist arrest and assaulting a police officer after allegedly attacking detective sergeant Shane Donovan.
On Tuesday, Donovan told an Ontario court that he barely knew Parker when the two worked on a collision reconstruction scene in rural Ontario in November 2018. Donovan was leading the operation when he assigned Parker to stop residents from using the road.
The court heard that Parker left the scene and became defensive when Donovan asked him to remain. Parker said he had to leave to use the bathroom.
“You’re talking to a sergeant,” Donovan told him, he said.
But the confrontation escalated when Parker got out of his vehicle and shoved Donovan, the court heard.
“You’re under arrest for assault,” Donovan told Parker.
Donovan told the court that Parker continued towards him, throwing a “haymaker” punch, and hitting him.
The sergeant said that he put up his hands in surrender and went back to his vehicle. But he was punched again by Parker, who then drew his police-issued baton.
Fearing that a strike to the head could be fatal, Donovan drew his gun.
“Oh, you want to do this?” said Parker who unholstered his own weapon.
“I knew if he got the firearm up on me, then he would kill me – and it was either me or him,” Donovan said. “So I fired my gun until he dropped his gun.”
Investigators recovered 10 shell casings at the scene.
“My belief was that my life was in danger,” said Donovan. “He’s already attacked me, hit me three or four times.”
Donovan told the court that his experience with Parker was the first time he had ever drawn his gun.
A medical examination found four gunshot wounds on Parker’s left calf, his lower abdomen, his left hip, and the back of his right foot. He also had wounds through his nose and cheek, as well as his left shoulder and upper thigh.
Ontario’s special investigations unit, which investigates shootings involving police officers, initially laid charges against Donovan, including attempted murder, but the charges were later dropped.
Donovan will continue his testimony on Wednesday in the judge-only trial.