BATTLEFORD, Sask.—The son of a Saskatchewan farmer on trial for killing an indigenous man says his father looked like he was going to be sick after the shooting and told him the gun “just went off.”
Sheldon Stanley told a jury at Gerald Stanley's murder trial yesterday that an SUV drove into the family's farmyard near Biggar, Sask. in August, 2016.
He said he and his father heard an all-terrain vehicle start and thought it was being stolen.
The pair ran toward the SUV as it tried to leave the farm and Sheldon Stanley went in the house to get his truck keys.
He says he heard two gunshots while he was inside, and a third when he came back out.
“I turned as my father walked behind the back of the grey vehicle towards me with a gun in one hand and a magazine in the other,” Sheldon Stanley, 28, told court.
“He turned and looked at me and looked like he was going to be sick," the son added. ”He said, 'I don't know what happened. It just went off. I just wanted to scare them.'
“It just went off.”
Gerald Stanley, 56, has pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder in the shooting death of Colten Boushie.
The 22-year-old, who was from the Red Pheasant First Nation, died from a single gunshot wound to the back of his head.
Eric Meechance, 22, testified that he, Boushie, Cassidy Cross, Kiora Wuttunee, and Belinda Jackson had been drinking throughout the day and had been swimming in the South Saskatchewan River.
He said they heard a leak in one of the tires when the SUV crossed a culvert.
He said they continued driving and stopped at one farm, where Cross broke the stock of .22 calibre rifle that was in the vehicle trying to smash the window of a truck.
They later drove on to the Stanley farm and were on an all-terrain vehicle, but took off when someone started yelling at them, he testified.
When Cross crashed into another vehicle in the yard, Meechance said they both got out of the SUV and started running.
“I took off running behind him. Within seconds . . . I heard two shots and I swear that they were toward me because I could hear a whistling,” Meechance told court.
“I heard two shots whistle by me.”
Meechance said he heard the third shot when he was crossing the main road near the farm.
“Did you see what happened with that third gunshot?” asked Crown prosecutor Bill Burge.
“No. You get shot at, you hear a third gunshot, you're not going to turn around and start looking,” Meechance replied.
Defence lawyer Scott Spencer asked him why the group didn't tell police that they had a gun in their vehicle, suggesting that was a “pretty serious piece of information that the police need.”
“I had a gun ban,” Meechance said.
After Boushie was shot, Sheldon Stanley said the two women in the back seat of the SUV were “obviously upset and yelling at us.”
He said they pulled Boushie's body out of the car and, along with him, a gun that was missing a stock.
He noted the two young women also attacked his mother while they waited for police.
“They had her on the ground and they were hitting her,” he said, adding he told them to get back in their vehicle.
“They did stop and got back in their vehicle," he noted. "I checked on Mom and made sure she was OK.”