SUMMERSIDE, P.E.I. - A Summerside man who pleaded guilty to carrying what looked like an assault rifle and approaching people in the city’s downtown has been sentenced.
Due to the nature of the incident, and its similarity to real, recent, shootings elsewhere in the Maritimes and other cities, Judge Jeff Lantz said Adrian Steven Gallant was lucky the situation ended the way it did.
“The accused is lucky he wasn’t seriously hurt or killed,” said Lantz.
Gallant, 27, pleaded guilty on Sept. 19 to one count of possession of a weapon for a dangerous purpose and one count of dangerous use of a firearm.
He was sentenced Monday to 120 days in jail, but was given credit for the equivalent 30 days he’s been in custody since his arrest. He will also have to serve three years of probation upon his release, must pay $200 in victim surcharges and is prohibited from owning weapons for 10 years.
The court heard that Gallant has addictions issues and some significant mental health challenges, for which he takes a variety of medications.
In the weeks leading up to the incident, Gallant had been trying to get an appointment with his psychiatrist to talk about his medication. He felt he was being overprescribed and decided to dial back some of his medication on his own while he waited for an appointment.
It was suggested during Gallant’s sentencing that this self-diagnosis, along with other factors, compiled to contribute to his actions on Sept 5.
That day, around 12:17 a.m., Summerside Police Services received a 911 dispatch stating that a lone male, dressed in black and carrying what looked like an assault rifle, had approached two women in a parking lot off Water Street.
Police donned their hard body armour and equipped their own carbine rifles to respond to the call.
The two victims identified Gallant as a suspect, and police found him in the downtown a short time later.
Gallant later admitted to being in the downtown with what turned out to be a broken airsoft gun, which does not fire real bullets but looks very much like a real firearm. It was found later in his home.
Gallant has expressed his remorse regarding the situation and is hoping to meet with his psychiatrist while in custody. His probation also stipulates that he has to follow his doctor’s orders in terms of following his medication regimen.
A publication ban has been implemented to prohibit the publication of any information which could identify either of the victims in this case.