A federal offender who has previously escaped from custody and who has a history of robbery and gun offences again attempted to go on the lam Thursday (Dec. 3) in Abbotsford.
But Stephane Bissonnette, 33, didn’t get far before he was taken back into custody.
Abbotsford Police Sgt. Judy Bird said the incident began just before 3 p.m., when police received reports of shots being fired at Abbotsford Way and Marshall Road in east Abbotsford. This is in the area of a complex that includes the Liquor for Less and Dollarama stores.
Several officers responded to the call, and it was determined that Bissonnette – an inmate at Pacific Institution in Abbotsford – was being escorted to a medical appointment when he escaped from Correctional Service of Canada (CSC) officers.
Bird said while trying to apprehend Bissonnette, one of the CSC officers fired their gun. Nobody was injured.
The Air One helicopter and the Lower Mainland District Integrated Police Dog Services were called in to help, and Bissonnette was located a short distance away and taken into custody by the Abbotsford Police Department.
The area around the incident was blocked off for several hours, including the Dollarama parking lot.
According to previous media reports, Bissonnette has previously escaped from custody on a couple of occasions.
He broke out of a Quebec prison in 2007, and was awaiting trial on robbery and firearms offences in January 2012 in Winnipeg when he escaped while being guarded at a hospital. Media reports at the time indicate that he escaped from a third-floor window while guards were posted outside his door.
Bissonnette had been in hospital since October 2011 after shooting himself in the groin during a robbery that was among several he committed at that time in Winnipeg.
While on the run in 2012, he committed two more bank robberies before being re-arrested four days after his hospital escape.
Later that year, Bissonnette was sentenced to 12 years in prison.
Abbotsford Police are asking that anyone who has information or CCTV or dash-cam video from Thursday’s incident contact the major crime unit at 604-859-5225.
– with files from Ben Lypka
— Ben Lypka (@BenLypka) December 4, 2020