Suspect who killed Quebec police officer was in psychosis, finds inquest

Suspect's mother claimed son needed treatment days before fatal stabbing

Suspect who killed Quebec police officer was in psychosis, finds inquest

"Call the police, that's what you have to do, he has to go to the hospital, he needs treatment."

That was what Isaac Brouillard Lessard’s mother texted his uncle on March 27, 2023, a coroner’s inquest heard on Monday, according to a report from The Canadian Press posted on CTV News.

That day, Brouillard Lessard allegedly fatally stabbed Quebec police officer Sgt. Maureen Breau, and left another officer with a skull fracture with a stab wound to the face using a kitchen knife, according to a Quebec police watchdog officer.

The alleged stabbing happened when Breau was trying to arrest the 35-year-old Brouillard Lessard in Louiseville, Que., about 100 kilometres northeast of Montreal. Breau and three other officers were dispatched to the suspect's apartment after he had allegedly uttered threats and broke probation.

Two other provincial police officers fired at the Brouillard Lessard 19 times, with 11 bullets striking him, a pathologist testified Monday. Breau was pronounced dead at a hospital just after 11 p.m.

The text message from the suspect’s mother was a reply to the uncle’s message asking what he was supposed to do after he received threats from his nephew.

The uncle then called police to report that Lessard had made threats against him, noted Patrick Michaud, an investigator with Bureau des enquêtes indépendantes, Quebec's independent police watchdog, during a coroner’s inquest.

However, even days before the stabbing incident, Lessard’s mother had called authorities to check up on her son. Lessard, his mother believed, was going through a psychosis, Michaud said, according to a report from The Canadian Press published on CTV News.

On March 24, his mother and father both called provincial health line 811 and 911, asking for their son to be arrested and placed into care. Brouillard Lessard, they feared, could be a danger to others. 

Four provincial police officers visited Brouillard Lessard's apartment, including two who would respond to the deadly stabbing three days later. 

However, the police officers did not arrest Brouillard Lessard as he was calm even though he did admit to making the threats. The officers determined that they have no reason to arrest him or have him hospitalized, according to the report.

Brouillard Lessard, however, continued making threats against his mother. One hour after the police left, his father called 911.

Overall, March 24 and March 27, Brouillard Lessard called his mother 43 times and sent her 481 text messages, noted Michaud.

Brouillard Lessard also had had run-ins with the law in the past. In total, he had four interactions with police officers between December 2022 and March 27, 2023, according to the report.

He had also been found not criminally responsible five times for offences in 2014 and 2018, and had spent a year at a Montreal psychiatric hospital. His family had requested a first psychiatric consult in 2013.

In April 2022, Brouillard Lessard had been granted an absolute discharge and two years' probation after assaulting an apartment concierge.

The public inquiry into the fatal stabbing will take place in February and March at the courthouse in Trois-Rivières, Que., according to the report.