Canada
Ottawa court hears of gang shooting

Photo that was entered into evidence at the murder trial of Robert Sarrazin and Darlind Jean. The photo shows Aschley Noel (L) visiting his brother Apaid Noel in his hospital room.

Credits: Errol McGihon/Ottawa Sun

CHRIS HOFLEY | QMI AGENCY

OTTAWA -- Robert Sarrazin came out of nowhere, pushed two of his buddies aside and fired a shotgun blast into Apaid Noel, court head Wednesday.

Testifying against his former friend and fellow member of the Montreal-based Crack Down Posse (CDP) gang, Darlind Jean said he had been talking to Noel's brother, Aschley, in front of the Theatre nightclub in the Byward Market, wondering where his buddy Sarrazin was.

Sarrazin has pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder in the Feb. 19, 1998, shooting.

While talking to Aschley -- whom Jean knew from their school days in Montreal --  Apaid, a member of the rival Dope Squad gang, came over and an argument began, court heard.

"You guys from the CDP think you're so good," Apaid said, according to Jean.

"If you have something to do, well you can try," Jean replied.

It was then Jean felt a hand in his pocket, which he said was Sarrazin dropping a set of keys into his coat. Sarrazin then pushed him aside, saying he "didn't come to talk."

Then Jean saw the gun in Sarrazin's hand -- a sawed-off 12-gauge shotgun.
"(Sarrazin) pushes me and then shoots," Jean testified.

The first shot hit Apaid Noel in the arm.

Having already been shot twice in gang disputes years before, Jean said his instinct was to get out of the way.

"I saw a shot, I backed up," Jean said. "Everyone starts to scream and to run."

Jean testified Sarrazin moved closer to Apaid and, while standing over him, shot him again.

At the time, Sarrazin and Jean were under a court order to stay away from each other following an earlier bust for drug trafficking.

Though critically hurt, Apaid Noel survived for a month following the attack before dying of a blood clot.

The prosecution will attempt to prove the gunshots causes Noel's eventual death.

Court heard that Jean had previously been convicted twice for his role in the shooting, but new trials were ordered after both verdicts were appealed.

On Monday, Jean pleaded guilty to the lesser charge of manslaughter and was freed with time served.
Also testifying Wednesday was Beverley Schmidt, who was leaving the club with friends when she heard the shots.

Trained in first aid, Schmidt immediately ran over to Noel, where she tried to stop the bleeding and keep him talking.

Jean's testimony will continue Wednesday.

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