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 Wednesday that an SUV drove into the family’s farmyard near Biggar, Sask., in August 2016.
He says 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. He turned and looked at me and looked like he was going to be sick,” Sheldon Stanley, 28, told court. “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.
Sheldon Stanley said his mother told him to call 911.
“I called 911 and told them where we were and told them what had happened.”
There were two women in the back seat who were “obviously upset and yelling at us,” he told court.
“They were pacing around the vehicle.”
He said the two women pulled Boushie’s body out of the SUV.
“As they pulled him out that’s when I saw what looked to be the barrel of a gun with no stock come out with the driver,” Sheldon Stanley testified. “It was laying between his legs and, as they pulled him, it came out with him.”
He said 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. I checked on Mom and made sure she was OK.”
An RCMP officer testified he had been called to a report of a suspected car theft at about the same time as the shooting.
Const. Andrew Park said there was a complaint from another property 15 to 20 kilometres northeast of the Stanley farm. The owners said someone had tried to break into a truck and the suspicious vehicle “was described to me as a grey SUV with a flat tire.”
“On the floor I found, broken into little pieces, the stock of a gun,” said Park.
He said it was obvious the broken gun stock matched the .22 calibre rifle found on the Stanley farm. An RCMP officer testified previously investigators did not glue the pieces together to confirm they were a match.