Slain man a former soldier
Discharged from Forces 3 years ago
The Winnipeg Sun

December 20, 2007


The 44-year-old man fatally shot during a confrontation with two Winnipeg police officers Monday night was discharged from the military three years ago after a 23-year career.

Police said Roy Thomas Bell of Winnipeg was allegedly armed with a firearm and baseball bat when he was shot outside an apartment at 34 Langside St.

Bell joined the Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry in 1981 and was a postal clerk when he was released in 2004, said Karen Johnstone, a spokeswoman in Ottawa for the Canadian Forces.

He was a corporal at the time of his release, Johnstone said. "The death of Mr. Bell is a tragedy, and our thoughts and prayers go out to his family," she said.

Johnstone did not say why he was released from the military. He had been stationed across Canada during his career, but had never been deployed overseas, the Canadian Forces said.

Johnstone and police would not comment about reports Bell suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder and depression, or whether the conditions may have played a role in Monday's incident.


Media reports indicated Bell had a long struggle with mental health issues. Friends said he had not been acting like himself lately and that his medication had been cut in half. He reportedly drove to Langside on Monday night to confront a friend he was arguing with when cops intervened, according to one report.

Witness Patrick Murdock told Sun Media he heard a man yell, "F---ing shoot me already" before he heard gunshots.

Police would not comment yesterday on whether Bell purposely put himself in a position where police were forced to shoot him.

Police were called to the apartment block when a tenant said he received a threatening phone call from a man who was on his way there.

The officers met Bell at the rear entrance a short time after he arrived.

Bell refused their orders to drop the firearm and they were forced to shoot, police said.

One of the officers first used a Taser but, for whatever reason, it was ineffective, police said.

Police spokesman Sgt. Kelly Dennison said Tuesday the police service believes the officers acted appropriately.

The homicide unit is investigating, but had not yet interviewed the officers as of yesterday, said police spokesman Const. Pat Chabidon.

Bell was the second person to die during a confrontation with Winnipeg police this year.