The community of Kuujjuaq was in mourning after Kativik Regional Police Force Constable Steve Dery, 27, died from gunshot wounds and another officer was injured while responding to a domestic dispute on March 2. His funeral took place March 9 at the Notre-Dame Basilica in Ottawa attended by colleagues, family and friends.

The two officers arrived on the scene after receiving a 911 call at 9:30 pm and were fired upon by someone inside the home. Dery was taken to the Tulattavik Hospital where he succumbed to his wounds. The other officer is in stable condition with non-life-threatening injuries.

After the shooting, reinforcements arrived and surrounded the home creating a standoff with the gunman who was trapped inside. A woman managed to escape the premises during the standoff, which ended 17 hours later when the gunman took his own life.

Hailing from Ottawa, Dery was well-liked by community residents with many describing him as a kind and generous man. On March 7, NDP MP Romeo Saganash stood in Parliament and spoke of the death of Dery.

“In the North, we depend on our police to keep our communities safe and they do this working in small numbers in a difficult environment. Despite these difficulties, members of the police, such as the Kativik Regional Police Force, go well beyond the call of duty to ensure the well-being of our communities,” Saganash said.

Violence has been increasing in Kuujjuaq with a high number of assaults being recorded in 2012. Over two-thirds of those were directly related to alcohol, according to the Kativik Regional Police Force.

Although guns are common in the community where many take part in traditional activities, such as hunting and trapping, shootings are rare.