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Other Name
.38 SPECIAL, “CST. LEE BRUNEAU”
Date Range From
1960
Date Range To
1990
Material Type
Artifact
Materials
STEEL, WOOD
Catalogue Number
P20130005001
  2 images  
Material Type
Artifact
Other Name
.38 SPECIAL, “CST. LEE BRUNEAU”
Date Range From
1960
Date Range To
1990
Materials
STEEL, WOOD
No. Pieces
1
Height
12
Length
22.5
Width
5
Description
SN#C808798, SMITH & WESSON .38 SPECIAL, MODEL 10-5. CARBON STEEL FRAME WITH WOOD GRIP. EMBOSSED AND GOLD-PLATED WITH CREST IMAGE AND TEXT READING “1964 – 1990” ON FRAME, “LETHBRIDGE POLICE” ALONG BARREL, AND “CST LEE BRUNEAU” ON UPPER GRIP. WOOD GRIP CARVED WITH CROSSHATCH TEXTURE ON BOTH SIDES, WITH SMITH & WESSON SYMBOL INSET IN METAL. MAKER’S INFORMATION AND PATENT DATE STAMPED ON FRAME BENEATH BARREL. OVERALL VERY GOOD CONDITION.
Subjects
ARMAMENT-FIREARM
Historical Association
SAFETY SERVICES
History
THIS REVOLVER WAS USED BY THE DONOR, CONSTABLE LEON BRUNEAU, DURING HIS CAREER WITH THE LETHBRIDGE POLICE FORCE. COLLECTIONS TECHNICIAN KEVIN MACLEAN INTERVIEWED BRUNEAU ABOUT HIS POLICE WORK AND THE WEAPON ON OCTOBER 8, 2009 AND APRIL 4, 2013. BRUNEAU SAID: “THERE WAS SOMETHING IN THE PAPER ABOUT [THE LETHBRIDGE AUXILIARY POLICE]. THIS INTERESTED ME BECAUSE… I HAD BEEN WORKING FOR A PRIVATE INVESTIGATION [BUREAU] AS A SECURITY GUARD UP IN CALGARY … [SO] I THOUGHT I’D TRY THIS AUXILIARY POLICE THING AND SEE WHAT COMES OUT OF IT… I DIDN’T KNOW [THE POLICE FORCE] WERE PLANNING TO TAKE RECRUITS OUT OF THE AUXILIARY… I WAS 29 YEARS OLD [WHEN I WAS] SWORN IN… THE FIRST GUN I WAS ISSUED… WAS AN OLD MILITARY 38 THAT HAD BEEN BORED OUT… TO ACCEPT .38 SPECIAL AMMUNITION, BUT THE .38 CALIBER HOLES ARE A LITTLE BIT BIGGER THAN THE .38 SPECIALS… SO IT RATTLED AROUND IN THERE AND IT WAS AN UNSAFE THING… AS SOON AS JIM TUTTLE QUIT [IN 1965/66] I WAS IN [SERGEANT] ALBERT HACKETT’S OFFICE LIKE A SHOT. [HIS] WAS A NEW GUN AND WAS THE ONLY .38 SPECIAL WITH A ROUND BUTT, AND I WANTED IT… [HACKETT] GOT IT FOR ME AND I CARRIED IT UNTIL I RETIRED… [IT’S] THE GUN I HAD IN ’82 WHEN WE HAD THE SHOOTOUT.” BRUNEAU CONTINUED: “THE REVOLVER ACTUALLY SAVED MY LIFE AT ONE TIME, BECAUSE IF I HADN’T FIRED IT, I MIGHT NOT BE HERE… IN JULY 1982… I WAS IN THE STATION [AT 5TH S AND 5TH AVE SOUTH] AND WE HEARD A COMMOTION, A SHOT, AND A SECOND SHOT… HOW [THE PRISONER] MIKE FRANK GOT A HOLD OF [OFFICER DARCY MURRAY’S] GUN, I DON’T KNOW. HAD WE HAD ANY WARNING ABOUT HOW VIOLENT THIS YOUNG MAN WAS, THERE PROBABLY WOULD HAVE BEEN MORE THAN ONE POLICEMAN DOWN THERE… [MURRAY WAS SHOT] THROUGH HIS ARM… WAYNE JOHNSON WAS ON THE DESK AND HE SAW THE COMMOTION ON THE CLOSED CIRCUIT TV AND WENT RUNNING DOWN THE STAIRS AND TOOK A BULLET RIGHT ABOVE HIS BODY ARMOUR [IN HIS NECK]… FRANK CAME RUNNING UP THE STAIRS… [SERGEANT] BUTCH LEE FIRED AT HIM [AND] HE RAN OUT THE FRONT DOOR… UP 5TH STREET TO 6TH AVENUE, AND WE CHASED HIM… AS HE WAS CROSSING [THE STREET] HE MADE A GRAB FOR A LITTLE OLD LADY… AND THEN HE FIRED A SHOT… BUTCH LEE AND I WERE THE FIRST ONES THERE… I THOUGHT ‘OK, WELL I’LL SHOOT HIS SHOULDER’ BUT I JUST GRAZED HIS SHOULDER, AND BUTCH FIRED FROM A DIFFERENT ANGLE AND MIKE FRANK WENT DOWN… [THEN] HE CAME UP SHOOTING… I FIGURED, ‘HE MISSED ME THIS TIME BUT HE MAY NOT MISS ME NEXT TIME, SO I BETTER SHOOT’. SO I DID. I WENT A COUPLE OF BUTTONS DOWN ON HIS SHIRT AND SQUEEZED OFF A SHOT AND HE WENT DOWN, AND THEN I HEARD A LOT OF GUNFIRE… AFTERWARDS WE FOUND OUT THERE WAS ELEVEN BULLET HOLES IN HIM… IN THAT NEWSPAPER PHOTOGRAPH [PUBLISHED IN THE JULY 10, 1982 ISSUE OF THE LETHBRIDGE HERALD] I WAS STANDING THERE TALKING ON THE RADIO AFTER IT, AND HE WAS STRETCHED OUT ON THE STREET.” BRUNEAU CONCLUDED: “IT WENT THROUGH MY HEAD, PRIOR TO THIS, ‘IF I WAS CONFRONTED WITH A SITUATION LIKE THIS, COULD I ACTUALLY SHOOT SOMEONE WITH THE INTENTION OF KILLING HIM?’ AND I FOUND OUT I COULD… THAT WAS ONLY THE SECOND TIME THAT I ACTUALLY HAD TO DRAW MY FIREARM… I DON’T THINK [THE INCIDENT] ACTUALLY CHANGED ANYTHING IN TERMS OF MY STATUS AS A POLICEMAN. I JUST KEPT ON DOING MY JOB… I BOUGHT THE GUN FOR $50 WHEN I RETIRED [IN 1990]. THE DEPARTMENT SENT IT AWAY TO VANCOUVER, HAD IT ALL REFURBISHED AND HAD MY ENLISTMENT DATE, MY NAME, EVERYTHING ENGRAVED AND FILLED IN WITH GOLD.” FOR FULL INTERVIEW TRANSCRIPTS, AND COPIES OF RELATED NEWSPAPER ARTICLES AND BRUNEAU’S DEPARTMENTAL COMMENDATION FOR HIS ACTIONS DURING THE SHOOTOUT, SEE PERMANENT FILE.
Catalogue Number
P20130005001
Acquisition Date
2013-03
Collection
Museum
Images
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