Two RCMP officers described a terrifying moment when they found a dead man with a gunshot wound and then were confronted by a naked screaming man, during Day 2 of a murder trial on Wednesday.
Consort RCMP Cpl. Eric Holmberg, then Consort detachment commander, and Const. James Countryman were the first two witnesses in Red Deer Court of Queen’s Bench trial.
They were testifying in relation to the death of Timothy James Mock, 33, of Consort. His brother, John Wayne Mock of Consort, now 35, faces a second-degree murder charge.
Holmberg and Countryman were called to the residence at about 9:30 p.m. on Feb. 22, 2012. When they arrived, they both testified, a tractor with a bucket was blocking the main driveway so they had to get out of their police vehicles and approach on foot.
As they ran toward the house, Holmberg said he saw the carcasses of a moose and an elk in front of out buildings to one side of the compound and then seen the carcasses of three coyotes before the path to the house. Getting closer to the house, they noticed a pair of dark coveralls on the path.
Holmberg testified that they approached the house and he peeked through a window before knocking on the door and yelling “Police, RCMP,” several times to alert occupants of their presence.
Hearing no response, they entered the residence and started a search with guns drawn. They found the body of Timothy Mock. Countryman said the body was on the floor in the doorway between the living room and master bedroom. Holmberg said he saw a bullet hole through the right side of Timothy.
Holmberg said they both holstered their guns and called other officers.
They had no radio reception and had to rely on cellphones.
As Holmberg called his region’s staff sergeant and Countryman called the backup officers en route to tell them there was a body, they heard a noise.
Then Holmberg said he heard “a blood curdling scream” and a naked man came running into the house. The two officers drew their firearms and as Countryman started heading towards cover, Holmberg told the man to get down. The man, identified as John Mock, complied and Holmberg put his knee on John Mock’s back and put on handcuffs. The officers waited for backup to arrive before they finished their sweep of the residence.
On his cross examination, defence counsel Darren Mahoney of Calgary focused on asking the officers to compare the demeanour of John Mock at the scene to how he behaved while sitting in the prisoner box.
John Mock has admitted to the facts of the shooting, but the question for the jurors is to determine whether he can be held criminally responsible for the actions. Mahoney contends the accused was affected by a mental disorder at the time of the shooting.
On Feb. 23, more officers examined the residence. Both Const. Paul Surette, the exhibit custodian during the investigation, and Const. James McConnell, of the RCMP Calgary major crimes unit, said they found the gun believed to have been involved in the shooting death in a red bunkhouse near the entrance to the compound. The handgun, a Ruger Blackhawk 45-caliber revolver, was recovered with three shells in it. Two bullets were recovered during Timothy’s autopsy and a third was found in the upstairs bedroom.
Five officers and a 911 operator took the stand during the second day of what is projected to be a two-week trial.
They testified how and why they were called to the Mock Ranch north of Consort to a report of a man suffering from gunshot wounds.
The trial resumes on Thursday with expected witnesses to include two police officers, a medical examiner and a firearms expert.