Cornwall Police Answer Questions About Pelletgate by Jamie Gilcig 011019

We asked the CCPS several questions regarding the incident of the 8th that paralyzed many in the downtown area as the hospital and schools were in lockdown and families were fearful for their loved ones and children.

Here are the questions and answers as delivered by Stephanie Macrae of the CCPS.

1)     Are there any CCTV cams for the CCVS area and other areas reported that the pellet person was walking?

CCTV cameras, as well as business and residential cameras were canvassed and reviewed as part of the investigation.

2)     At what time was it confirmed it was a pellet gun?

The confirmation of it being a pellet gun took place when the incident was de-escalating at approximately 3:45 pm. Throughout the day, we received conflicting witness accounts of what had been observed. In addition, the Cornwall Police Service received a report that shots were discharged in the area of Marlborough and Fifth Street, as well as a second report of a firearm being discharged in another area of the city. The latter report was later deemed unfounded. Officers were able to verify that a pellet gun had been discharged in the area of Marlborough and Fifth Street. Once confirmed and the pellet had been seized, the situation was de-escalated and the public was advised there was no longer a concern for safety.

3) At any time was the OPP consulted?

Yes, and at periods throughout the day, both the RCMP and the OPP provided their assistance.

4) How many officers were on duty as of 9AM.  How many were called in that reported during the day.  How many were asked to come in an couldn’t/wouldn’t?

Releasing the number of officers staffed on a daily basis could pose a security threat, therefore, I am unable to confirm how many officers were on duty as of 9 am. I can advise, however, that approximately 40 officers in total were used in the investigation. This includes members of our Criminal Investigations Division, Forensic Identification Unit, Crime Reduction & Community Partnerships, as well as our Cornwall Emergency Response Team. These resources were adequately deployed to effectively manage this incident.

5)  Why didn’t the CCPS reach out to we media partners to assist as we have large audiences that could spot people walking around with weapons?

It may have been irresponsible to release a description of the suspect that we were unable to confirm due to distinct variances provided by witnesses. For the integrity of the investigation, as well as the safety of innocent members of the public, the decision was made not to release the suspect description.

Was yesterday an exercise by the CCPS in any manner for form? 

In no way was Tuesday’s events a means of conducting an exercise. As is our practice, the Cornwall Police Service would warn the public in advance if a mock-scenario was being conducted.

– How much did this whole event cost $$ the police/taxpayers for something over a individual transporting a legal item?

The cost of Tuesday’s investigation is within the means of the budget allocated by the Cornwall Police Services Board. I am unable to provide you with the exact cost, but can confirm we were able to respond to this incident with minimal overtime incurred.

If pellet guns cause this much fright now of days how should we proceed with transporting this legal item outside in public.

The investigation began to escalate once we received the report of shots being discharged in the area of Marlborough and Fifth Street. This heightened the level of concern, due to the fact a weapon was now being discharged, rather than just being carried. Public education surrounding pellet guns will be necessary to assist the public in differentiating the object from an illegal firearm, including appropriate transportation. This is something the Cornwall Police Service will be in looking into as a result of Tuesday’s events.

Is there a law against this situation already or should one now be made?

Under the Criminal Code, the classification of a pellet or air gun is fluid and can change depending on the context in which it’s used. (Please refer to this link for further information about what I am referring to:

Are you allowed to release to the public the photos of the forensic evidence as well with a picture of the impact zone.

The investigation is still ongoing at this time and as such, the Cornwall Police Service is not prepared to release photos of the forensic evidence.

Are you allowed to release to the public the phone call recordings made in reporting this suspicion?

The investigation is still ongoing at this time and as such, the Cornwall Police Service is not prepared to release the phone recordings.

Will this individual be charged?

The investigation is still ongoing and as such, I am unable to confirm if the individual will be charged at this time.

With some businesses going into lock down that day and bus drivers not working that day. How much money did the city of cornwall lose on January 8th 2019 if any was lost

I am unable to confirm if any money was lost by the City. You would have to verify this information with any agency who chose to lock down.

None of the questions or answers have been edited. Ms Macrae’s answers are in BOLD.

CFN thanks the CCPS for its cooperation in answering some of the questions we have received from our viewers and are glad that ultimately everyone is safe.

While there are still many many unanswered questions this is a good start!


  1. So, they have a suspect?

  2. Author

    No. There’s been no police confirmation of an actual human. Just reports from the public. At least that’s my understanding from what I’ve read.

  3. The nearness to tragedy that took place on Tuesday, can only be compared to the Mariposa Belle horror that occurred during the Knights of Pythius excursion some years back.

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