BOURGET – On the morning of May 11, shortly after 2:00 a.m., three members of the Russell County detachment of the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) attended a residence on Laval St. in the village of Bourget in response to a call of a gunshot being heard. Moments after their arrival, all three officers were shot, one of them fatally.
All three officers were taken by ambulance to the Civic Campus of the Ottawa Hospital where one of them, Sgt. Eric Mueller, 42, died. Mueller is the only one of the three officers who has to this point been identified.
During a news conference later that day, OPP Commissioner Thomas Carrique reported that a suspect was arrested at the scene without incident by additional officers who had responded to a call for backup. A long gun was recovered at the scene, but it has not yet been confirmed if it is the weapon used to shoot the three officers.
The suspect, identified as Alain Bellefeuille, 39, is, according to court documents, a resident of Laval St. in Bourget.
During the news conference, Carrique was quite clear in his interpretation of how the incident had developed. “They arrived at a residence on Laval St. in Bourget,” said Carrique, “and upon arrival three of our officers were ambushed and shot.”
Bellefeuille was subsequently charged with one count of first-degree murder and two counts of attempted murder. He was remanded in custody with his next court appearance slated for Thurs., May 18.
Of the two other officers who were injured, one was treated and released to recover at home while the third remains in hospital.
Mueller was a 21-year veteran of the force who started his policing career in Ottawa in 2002. In 2006, he was hired as a provincial constable and in 2018, he was promoted to sergeant. He leaves behind his wife and two young children.
A private police funeral is scheduled for Thursday at the Canadian Tire Centre in Kanata. The private service will be attended by Sergeant Eric Mueller’s family, their guests, members of the Ontario Provincial Police, representatives from other police services, Canadian Armed Forces’ members, emergency services’ personnel and officials at the Canadian Tire Centre.
A GoFundMe campaign has been started by the Russell County OPP to raise funds for the family of Eric Mueller, as well as the two injured officers and their families. As of Tuesday, just over $43,000 of the $50,000 goal had been raised.
Terry Tinkess is a professional photographer, educator and journalist. He has been making a living with a camera and keyboard since 1999 and has been featured in such publications as The Ottawa Citizen, Cornwall Standard Freeholder, The Globe and Mail, The Miami Herald, Ottawa Construction News, The Ontario Construction Report, Ontario Home Builder Magazine, Reed Construction Data, Canadian Potato Business and most recently, The Record and Eastern Ontario AgriNews. Terry lives in Ingleside, Ontario with his wife Brenda, Mia the anxious Pittie and cats Wally and Chubbers.