Toronto police officer murder trial hears about his last moments

The Canadian Press
February 6, 2013

TORONTO - The trial of a man accused of purposely killing a Toronto police officer by hitting him with a stolen snowplow is hearing about the officer's last moments.

A man who was driving by the scene early in the morning on Jan. 12, 2011, is testifying that he saw the snowplow bear straight down on the officer and drive off, leaving him lying on the ground and bleeding from the head.

Richard Kachkar, 46, has pleaded not guilty to charges of first-degree murder and dangerous driving in the death of Sgt. Ryan Russell.

The judge has told the jury that there will be no dispute that Kachkar was the person driving the plow, rather the case will centre around his mental state.

The trial has already heard that Kachkar drove the plow around Toronto for two hours that morning, hitting several cars and shouting about the Taliban, Chinese technology and a microchip in his body.

Today court is hearing from Vance Cooper, who saw Russell standing next to his cruiser with his arm raised in a "stop" gesture, then he says he heard shots being fired, but the plow drove straight at Russell.

Cooper did not see the impact.

"At that moment plow is bearing down on the officer and I'm just holding my breath and hoping that this officer can get out of the way," Cooper testified. "(He's) driving straight, no steering, no braking, no apparent effort to change course."