Recording suggests Pham's killer seemed unaware of shooting
London Community News
By Paul Everest/London Community News/Twitter: @PaulEverest1
The man who killed OPP Const. Vu Pham told officers who responded to the March 8, 2010 shooting that he had no idea what they were talking about when they informed him he had murdered a police officer.
On Monday (April 2), Day 6 of the coroner’s inquest into the deaths of Pham and Fred Preston, a recording made in the minutes after the shooting was played that portrayed 70-year-old Preston as confused and in disbelief that he could have killed anyone.
When a police officer told him he had shot 37-year-old Pham and that he was being arrested for murder, Preston, who was laying on the side of North Line road near Walton with six bullets in him, was heard in the recording to be unaware of the carnage around him.
“How in the hell did I get in this predicament?” he can be heard saying in the recording. “I didn’t do anything. I don’t know what I did.”
When police and paramedics asked him what his name was, where he was hurt or even what month it was, Preston was unable to provide them with answers.
“I don’t understand why I’m in trouble,” he said.
He asked one of the men attending to him what happened and when he was again told he had shot a police officer, Preston responded by saying “Oh no,” and then asked “Did somebody shoot me?”
“I don’t want to hurt anybody,” he said.
Preston had shot and killed Pham after being pulled over for threats he had made against his sister-in-law, Mary Lou Driscoll, who lived just down the road from the scene of the shooting.
After killing Pham, he engaged in a firefight with Pham’s partner, Const. Dell Mercey, who was able to shoot and incapacitate Preston.
Mercey was not injured and Preston died three days after the shooting.
According to the recording, one of Preston’s wounds was to his neck and as paramedics loaded him onto an ambulance, he complained about not being able to breathe.
At one point, after being told that he had been shot, Preston responded in bewilderment.
“Who in the hell would do that to me?” he is heard saying on the recording.
Coincidentally, Preston’s nephew, Ben Driscoll, who was not far from the scene when the shooting happened, was a paramedic at the time and attended to his uncle.
He can be heard on the recording asking Preston questions and trying to keep him awake in the ambulance.
Driscoll is scheduled to appear at the inquest on Tuesday (April 3) along with an OPP officer who interviewed Preston’s family the day of the shooting and an OPP training expert.
The inquest is expected to continue until April 13.