Sgt. Eric Mueller broke leg after being struck by tractor-trailer
Sgt. Eric Mueller described as an 'exemplary officer' and 'a family man' by commissioner
OPP Commissioner Thomas Carrique said Mueller, who was killed responding to a report of a gunshot on Laval Street in Bourget, was described by colleagues as a coach and a mentor.
The Ontario Provincial Police officer who was fatally shot Thursday in Bourget, Ont., was also seriously injured and required months of rehabilitation after an arrest-gone-wrong 15 years ago.
Sgt. Eric Mueller died May 11 in what the force's commissioner, Thomas Carrique, described as an early morning "ambush" in the small community about 50 kilometres east of Ottawa.
Mueller, 42, and two other officers were called to a disturbance at a home on Laval Street just after 2 a.m. when they were all shot by someone inside, OPP said.
All three were taken to hospital in Ottawa, where Mueller succumbed to his injuries.
"Our hearts are broken as we remember Eric," Carrique said at a news conference Thursday in Ottawa. "We stand beside his family, and we focus our attention on the recovery of the [other two] officers."
Crushed against cruiser
Mueller was an "exemplary officer" and a "family man," Carrique said, who started his career in 2002 in Ottawa as a special constable with the force's offender transport unit.
He was hired as a full constable in 2006, Carrique said.
Roughly two years later, Mueller suffered a broken leg, bruises and scrapes when he was struck by the driver of a tractor-trailer during an attempted arrest near Cardinal, Ont., according to a 2010 judge's ruling posted on Canlii.
The driver was wanted on a warrant for failing to show up in court. Mueller and two other OPP officers stopped him on a Highway 401 exit ramp, but when Mueller approached, the driver revved his engine and tried to speed off.
Mueller raced back to his cruiser, but he was hit by the truck's trailer.
He was crushed against his cruiser and then sent flying into the air, according to the details in the ruling. The impact fractured his right leg, and Mueller needed three operations and several months of rehab and recovery.
The driver ultimately pleaded guilty to four charges and was found guilty on two others.
'Glue that held the ship together'
The Ontario Provincial Police Association confirmed Thursday that Mueller was indeed the same officer who'd broken his leg during the 2008 arrest.
Carrique also told reporters Thursday that Mueller had been "very seriously injured" in an unspecified incident "a number of years ago."
In 2018, Mueller was promoted to sergeant, Carrique said — a recognition of his "exemplary performance [and] his dedication to duty."
"He's described by his colleagues as a coach, a mentor, someone that everybody looked up to," Carrique said. "'[He was] the glue that held the ship together, the best leader that many people ever had the privilege of working for."
Ontario Provincial Police officer killed in the line of duty
An Ontario Provincial Police officer has been killed in the line of duty in the village of Bourget, near Ottawa. Police say he and two other officers were ambushed while responding to a call.
Prior to transferring to the city of Clarence-Rockland, Ont., which includes the village of Bourget, Mueller worked as a constable in the North Grenville, Ont., area, according to a statement posted to the latter community's website.
Alain Bellefeuille, a 39-year-old man from Bourget, was arrested after the shooting and has been charged with one count of murder and two counts of attempted murder.
According to the Criminal Code of Canada, if the victim is a police officer, murder is automatically deemed to be in the first degree.
In a news release Thursday afternoon, OPP said they were helping Mueller's family "work through this horrible incident" and asked people to respect their privacy while they grieve.
Funeral arrangements have not been finalized, police said.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Trevor Pritchard is both a digital reporter and the weekend assignment producer at CBC Ottawa. He's previously reported in Toronto, Saskatoon and Cornwall, Ont.
Credit belongs to : www.cbc.ca