WETASKIWIN, Alta. – An RCMP officer was trying to arrest a man in the living room of an Alberta farm house when the Mountie saw the muzzle of a gun pointing out of a doorway.
Const. Sheldon Shah jumped between the gun and his partner, who was a new father, and took numerous bullets along his left side.
Shah told a trial Friday that he still has aching wounds three years later.
“I just live with pain everyday, pretty much,” said Shah, who listed several surgeries he has had and 11 scars that mark his body from his neck to his knee. He also testified that he lost a testicle.
Shah and Const. Sidney Gaudette were shot and wounded while trying to execute a search warrant at the farm near Killam, southeast of Edmonton, on Feb. 7, 2012.
Sawyer Robison, 30, has pleaded not guilty to attempted murder, assault causing bodily harm and several weapons-related charges.
Court previously heard that Robison was a photographer and had been hired earlier to take portraits of Gaudette’s family.
Robison’s name had come up during a recent domestic assault investigation, Shah said. A suspect had turned himself in and told police that a friend, Robison, had lent him an unlicensed handgun.
Shah was a rookie officer who had joined the force after serving in the military. His very first search warrant was the one for the home Robison shared with an uncle.
Shah said the assault suspect had also told him there were many guns in Robison’s home, so Shah went there with three other officers. Two stayed outside while Shah and Gaudette went in.
They found Robison in the living room. He refused an order to get on the ground and backed into a door frame, said Shah.
The Mountie told court he grabbed Robison’s wrist but he got loose.
“As he’s breaking free, there were legs running past and then I heard the racking of a gun.”
Shah said Robison had disappeared by the time Shah saw the gun barrel and was hit. As the officer fired back, he noticed the person holding the gun was a naked older man with grey hair.
Shah felt hot, excruciating pain, but made his way out of the house and was rushed to hospital. As he was bleeding in the back seat of a cruiser, he told the officer driving to hurry.
“I don’t think I’m going to make it.”
Gaudette, who had been shot once in the torso, also got out of the home and was taken to hospital for surgery.
Following a standoff, Bradford Clarke, 53, was found dead in the kitchen. Evidence photos show he had a head wound and two handguns were next to his body. Police believe he may have been having a bath before the shooting.
RCMP alleged at the time that Robison had fled the home in a pickup truck following the shooting. He was arrested three days later after his parents pleaded for him to turn himself in.
Robison was charged with second-degree murder in the death of his uncle, but that charge was discontinued during a preliminary hearing.
Court has heard the home was stocked with guns, including a loaded sniper rifle, ammunition, a bullet-proof vest and a binder labelled “Special Forces Sniper Training.”