An 18-year-old who shot a man in Hay River, N.W.T., was sentenced to just over five years in prison by deputy judge B.D. Henning in N.W.T. territorial court last week.
In a plea deal reached with the Crown prosecutor, Gaige Forrest admitted that on Dec. 10, 2021, he and the victim met on a street in Hay River to fight. Forrest pulled out a pistol and shot the man in his chest. According to an agreed statement of facts, the bullet went through the victim's hand before entering his chest.
The victim was medevaced to Edmonton and had to have part of his lung removed.
Forrest was arrested at the Hay River airport shortly after. Police found an unloaded firearm on him.
He was initially charged with attempted murder in connection with the shooting. He pleaded guilty to the lesser charge of discharging a firearm while being reckless to the life or safety of another person.
The shooting, first reported by Cabin Radio, occurred just two days after Forrest pointed the same pistol at a woman in Fort Resolution and threatened to harm her. Forrest admitted he got into an altercation with the woman's spouse. She broke it up and pushed him and another man out the door. But Forrest pushed his way back in, pointed the gun at her and threatened her.
At the same sentencing last week, Forrest also admitted that, on Jan. 22, while he was in the North Slave Correctional Centre after the shooting, he assaulted a deputy warden by spitting at him and throwing a roll of paper towels at him.
Forrest was sentenced to four and a half years for the shooting in Hay River, six months for pointing the gun at the woman in Fort Resolution, and one day of jail for assaulting the deputy warden.
With credit for the time he has already served, he has four years and 80 days left on his sentence.