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Cop shoots himself in front of IGA shoppers

[Found at Canadian Firearms Digest ]

Date: Tue, 15 May 2001 12:35:15 -0600
From: "Breitkreuz, Garry - Assistant 1" BreitG0@parl.gc.ca

PUBLICATION: The Edmonton Sun
DATE: 2001.05.15
SOURCE: Edmonton Sun
BYLINE: Nicole Bergot
KEYWORDS: Suicide; Alberta
ILLUSTRATION: 1. photo by Jack Dagley, Edmonton Sun A distraught woman talks with police yesterday outside the home of a suspended cop who later killed himself outside a supermarket. 2. photo by Robert Taylor, Edmonton Sun RCMP investigators examine the scene of a suicide in front of the Garden Market IGA in Station Square on 99 Avenue in Fort Saskatchewan. The body is under the yellow tarp.


A suspended city cop shot himself once in the head in front of horrified shoppers and three city tactical unit members outside the Fort Saskatchewan IGA shortly after 8 p.m. last night.

It was a bloody end to a lengthy police standoff that started with the discovery of a suicide note yesterday in the home of Const. Gregory Donald Seath, 42, a veteran city cop serving a conditional sentence for perjury and obstruction of justice.

The trail led to Fort Saskatchewan, where police found Seath in the supermarket parking lot with a gun in his hand.

"Three tactical members pulled up in a van to confront him, saw he was holding a handgun at his side," said city police spokesman Wes Bellmore.

"He refused a number of demands to put the weapon down and then just sat down on the curb and took his own life."

An eyewitness reported city police Chief Bob Wasylyshen was on the scene in Fort Saskatchewan last night, but made no comment to press. The incident began more than six hours earlier after Seath's son found a suicide note at his dad's home near 162 Avenue and 59A Street in Edmonton and called the cops.

"He's known to be antagonistic towards police and because of the history, we sent the troops," said Bellmore. Over 25 police cars, tactical team members including snipers in army fatigues and camouflage, patrol officers, and police dogs descended on the home.

Community police stations across the city were also alerted that the despondent man might be on the street and possibly armed.

After attempts to contact anyone inside the home failed, officers hurled flash-bang devices inside about 4 p.m. as Seath's tearful wife and other family members watched from the street.

Tactical members then finally stormed the home and found it empty.

An RCMP helicopter, meanwhile, scanned a wooded area behind the house as well as the city of Fort Saskatchewan after several reported sightings there.

The 41-year-old Seath, a city police officer for almost 20 years, was handed an 18-month conditional sentence Jan. 10 to be served in the community.

The judge ruled the sentence was appropriate because Seath's police career was in jeopardy and his life could have been in danger if he were sent to jail.

Seath - suspended without pay and facing an internal disciplinary hearing - was ordered to follow a daily 9 p.m. to 6 a.m. curfew, do 240 hours of community service in the first year of his sentence and abstain from alcohol.

EPS seized his police issue handgun but the courts allowed him to keep a large stock of weapons - some 15 long-barrelled [guns] and two handguns - which officers seized from the north-side home about 5 p.m. yesterday.

Seath was charged after swearing a false affidavit in 1996 about a confrontation with his wife's former husband.

But he was secretly taped and later denied details of the acrimonious conversation about custody and visitation rights.

Blaine Henkelman, 38, the ex-husband of Seath's wife and the person who taped the conversation, was upset with the sentence. On the tape, which was played in court, Seath tells Henkelman that if he ever bothered him again, he'd make Henkelman's life a misery.

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Posted 2002 02 22