According to court documents, the man suspected of killing a Québec provincial police (SQ) officer had a documented history of violence.
Brouillard Lessard, 35, fatally stabbed Sgt. Maureen Breau after she attempted to arrest him for allegedly uttering threats in Louiseville, near Trois-Rivieres, Québec.
The attack occurred Monday around 8:30 p.m., at Saint-Laurent Avenue and Saint-Aimé Street.
Two police officers arrested Lessard, and at the time of reading his rights, he reportedly seized a long knife and attacked Breau, who then fell from a balcony.
A fellow patroller then opened fire on the suspect, fatally wounding him, according to a police source who spoke to Noovo Info.
In her early 40s, Breau was the mother of two children who spent two decades with the provincial police force.
The head of the provincial police union told reporters Tuesday that Breau was due for a promotion in four days.
According to court documents, Lessard faced charges for several violent crimes over the past decade for which he was found not criminally responsible.
In 2013, he pleaded not guilty to threatening to cause death and harm. Between 2017 and 2018, he pleaded not guilty to two assaults and uttered death threats.
However, in 2022, he pleaded guilty to assault and received two years probation and 200 hours of community service.
Lessard's lawyer, Yanick Peloquin, said his client was due to appear in May before Quebec's mental health review board — Commission d'examen des troubles mentaux du Quebec.
Founded in March 2022, the review board said the accused posed a "significant risk to public safety" but determined that the risk could be adequately controlled if monitored appropriately. That decision is one of several issued by the board about Peloquin's client since 2014.
A former friend of Lessard told Noovo Info that the accused spent time at the Philippe-Pinel Institute of Forensic Psychiatry in 2019 and should not have been released.
"For the safety of everyone around, you couldn't let a guy like him go into society and think he was going to fend for himself," said the former friend, who spoke anonymously.
"In his head, he was not sick. The others were crazy, and he was too smart for the others," he said, adding he hadn't spoken with Lessard since January.
"He was a guy with an explosive character," said the former friend, recalling Lessard bragged about a previous assault.
Montréal police continue to investigate Breau's death, while the provincial police watchdog, the BEI, is investigating the police response.
Her death drew an outpouring of support from her family and colleagues.
"My big sister will always be my hero," said Breau's sister, who requested privacy.
Quebec Premier Francois Legault called the fatal altercation "appalling" online.
Legault pledged to work with the social services minister to ensure urgent treatment for mental health cases involving people who risk violence to themselves or others.