Woman killed in Calgary police-involved shooting had ties to Saskatchewan FN - APTN NewsAPTN News

Woman killed in Calgary police-involved shooting had ties to Saskatchewan FN

Kathleen Martens
Friends and family in two provinces are mourning the woman they call ‘Sunshine Girl’ after she was shot and killed by Calgary police May 17.

The body of Josephine Pelletier, 33, was buried on the Muskowekwan First Nation June 9, her mother Donna Pelletier said Wednesday.

“She had a hard life – she did struggle lots,” Donna said of her second-oldest daughter.

“She tried her best but then she would meet the wrong people and off she would go.”

Josephine, 33, was living in a half-way house in Calgary after spending most of her life behind bars.  She spoke to APTN News in 2016 about wanting to turn her life around.

Donna says she was told Josephine was missing from the half-way house for about two days when she spied an open door to a basement suite and went in.

“They went in an open house. Nobody was home.”

But someone upstairs called police who say they responded to the report of a home invasion with a K9 unit before summoning the tactical team.

News reports say at least two officers fired on Josephine and the male she was with saying they heard sounds of distress and found the pair barricaded inside.

Her close friend Tanya Sugar says the women grew up in Regina together.

“Josephine, you were loved, man. You were my little sister.”

Sugar says Josephine died at the scene after being shot seven times. Something she was able to confirm after accompanying Donna to view her daughter’s body.

Sugar says the male, who was injured after police fired rubber projectiles at him with an ARWEN launcher, remains in custody on various charges. He was unable to attend Josephine’s funeral, Sugar added.

Police say the male suffered serious stab wounds, allegedly inflicted by Josephine before she was shot, but Sugar and Donna don’t believe it.

“Calgary Police are lying,” Donna said. “She didn’t hurt (him)…it was the police who hurt him.”

The fatal incident is now being investigated by the Alberta Serious Incident Response Team (ASIRT), which takes over when officers are involved.

APTN is still waiting to receive more information from ASIRT.

“Nobody deserves (to) leave this world the way she did,” her sister Mariah G-Lynn said on Facebook.

“She had heart, she had love, she had a mother and a son, she had brothers and sisters. She was a mother herself.”

“She was not a target to be shot at many times by multiple cops,” added her sister Shalene Jobin.

Josephine, also known as JoJo and Josie, struggled with drug addiction, Sugar said, but was trying to become clean with traditional ways.

“I watched her grow and mature and become a beautiful Indigenous woman the past five years,” Sugar said on a memorial page.

“She was praying and singing (and) coming to the sweat when she could. She just didn’t have enough support in her life that were healthy and teach her a better way.”

Sugar hosted an event in Calgary to help raise $2,000 so Donna could take her daughter home and bury her.

Donna says she was shocked at the condition of Josephine’s body.

“I had to have a closed coffin,” she said through tears.

Donna says the half-way house gave her the wrong clothes – “three times bigger than Jo” – and victim services was unable to help because her daughter was shot by officers.

“They said it was a conflict with city police,” Donna said in a telephone interview from her Saskatchewan home.

A spokesman for Alberta Justice was unable to comment on a specific case due to privacy issues, but offered a link to eligibility requirements that confirmed a crime must be involved to access funds.

Link to victim services in Alberta

Donna says she works but doesn’t make much money and didn’t have the savings to cover the unexpected travel and funeral expenses.

She says Alberta Human Services gave her funds to get “to the Saskatchewan border.”

She plans to buy a headstone when she “can do fundraising” and needs to save up “the $200” needed to buy her daughter’s autopsy report.




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8 Responses to “Woman killed in Calgary police-involved shooting had ties to Saskatchewan FN”

  1. evburd@telus.net'
    Liz Burd June 19, 2018 at 4:28 am #

    Why didn’t the Police use rubber bullets on her or a tazer or a spray…?

  2. the_alley@hotmail.com'
    Candy A Timleck June 15, 2018 at 7:05 pm #

    why were the Cops shooting Rubber at a Stabbed Man ?

    • desjarlaiskelly82@gmail.com'
      JnK June 16, 2018 at 1:41 am #

      I was thinking the same thing. Why would they???

  3. laura@homefrontcalgary.com'
    laura ducharme June 15, 2018 at 1:35 am #

    I met her at the Grassroots Gathering in Calgary just prior to her passing, we spent about 45 minutes talking outside during lunch hour. She went to meet people at the gathering to try to gain contacts for a support network as she didn’t know anyone in Calgary she said. She told me her story and I gave her my contact information and then introduced her to people I knew would be a good support to her. I was very saddened to learn of her passing on the Awo Taan Healing Lodge FB site, she was so authentic and friendly I really am glad that I met her and got to see her great smile and hear her laugh. I’m so sorry for the loss of your precious daughter 🙁

  4. Laribrett2016@gmail.com'
    Larissa Jahnke June 15, 2018 at 12:36 am #

    ABSOLUTELY terrible.
    Sad and sorry that happened to her. Creator took her home. RIP

  5. bigskymariah@gmail.com'
    Mariah Bigsky June 14, 2018 at 11:05 pm #

    It sickens me right down to the core knowing everything my family has gone through. Life was suppose to be beautiful life it was suppose to be meaningful. Tho there are no true definitions to the word life but that it’s so closely connected to the word love almost meaning the same thing. I love my family with all my heart. No one deserves to go through what Josephine “Jo-Jo” Pelletier went through in her last moments. The pain my Aunty Donna feels is unimaginable……

  6. Pheloniouspunk@gmail.com'
    Phelonious June 14, 2018 at 10:18 pm #

    While disturbed Calgary cops shot yet another person I would hold comment until you get the facts about the cops stabbing the male victim. I would strongly doubt that to be the case and 7 stab wounds would be a indicator of a crazed drugged up person with a weapon. Maybe the cops are justified in this case. To disregard the facts and blame others for what would ultimately be a decision made by the deceased to break in to a unoccupied home and then, if true, stab her partner and not surrender peacefully but instead continue to threaten life and property seems to me to be justifiable despite the indiginious status or sex of the victim. Unfortuantly we all make the beds we must sleep in or in this case die from.

    • T_sugar079@hotmail.com'
      tanya June 25, 2018 at 7:03 pm #

      You obviously need to read better ?
      where does it say she was stabbed 7 times?