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A Chance to Take me Down

Heroes Remember

A Chance to Take me Down

2012 I started getting introduced to the legal community within Canada. The marriage was dissolving. I tried to convince myself that, you know, if I went to marriage counselling then I’d be able to salvage that marriage. Things just didn’t go the way that I was trying to convince myself. It was just a complete mental… I want to use certain terminologies but I’m trying to keep it a little kosher here. I was basically trying to convince myself that everything that I was doing was okay and that nobody was seeing what was going on with me. And just keeping everybody out at arm’s length. By 2013 I had a serious suicide… I tried to commit suicide, a very serious attempt where I gave the police every reason to take me down. March 9, 2013 I told the police that I had rigged my house to blow up and I said if you guys don’t come and take me out I’m going to blow this block up. I didn’t rig anything up in the house. I had nothing in there that was even remotely touched but I just wanted to end my suffering. And I remember in that situation that day I was yelling at the police from up top just antagonizing them, antagonizing them, it was all pre-drawn in my head. I went out on to the overhang of the front porch and as the emergency response team came around the corner I had told them, “I don’t know why you guys are sneaking around for. I’m not hiding, I’m right here.” And I had grabbed the remote from inside the house and what I did is I had it behind my back and the team that was down on the ground were all stacked and any second it was going to happen. I remember the one sitting there saying, “Collin, what’s behind your back?” I said, “I’ll show you exactly what’s behind my back,” and I reached out and I made the motion to hit some sort of a button, “Woooosh” and by the grace of God the police chose forbearance, a less lethal force and they shot me with the Arwen gun, bean bag gun. The first shot that he released was a deadly accurate shot and hit me right in the shoulder and I’ve still got the scar there from it. It caused me to drop that device that they thought, that I told them that I had to create an explosion. And then they hit me five more times as I dove back into the house. Now I don’t know if I would recommend this to anybody because again like I said there is other avenues to go down. There’s help out there. I didn’t reach out and take a hold of that help. By the time that this had happened I got myself to that point and I was just done with life. Everything had been and I was just done with it. When you are in that state of mind basically when I’ve lost everything, everything was… my marriage was done, my relationship with my children, everything was going and I was gonna get rid of it all and I just wanted to be gone from this place. So after they hit me with the Arwen I was in a lot of pain and it’s a very good approach to using as opposed to lethal force. The police saved my life that day, they saved my life. And when I came out of the house they arrested me under the mental health act and the police officers that came and cuffed me were the same guys that were there to subdue me. And I looked up at them and I said, “This has got nothing to do with you guys.” And they said, “We know Collin, we know.” I remember one of the officers saying, “Collin, I just want you to see this,” and he showed me his cell phone. His brother is in the infantry with the RCR and while this was all transpiring and they were engaging in text messaging with each other and his brother, a Royal, was messaging and said the guy is a good guy, he was talking about me. I still to this day don’t know who he is but he was saying, “The guy is a good guy. He’s just really, really messed up.”

Collin shares a detailed account of his plan to have authorities end his life in the midst of his suffering.

Collin Fitzgerald

Mr. Collin Fitzgerald was born in Ottawa March 14, 1979. At the age of 8, Collin’s parents encouraged him to join the Cadet Program leading him towards becoming a reservist. At the age of 17 and with the inspiration of World War Two and Korea Veterans, Collin made the decision to transfer over to Regular Force joining the Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry. He rose to the rank of Master Corporal after his 15 years of military service. In 2000 he attended battle school in Wainwright, Alberta, then posted to Winnipeg. In September of that same year he accepted a deployment to Bosnia. In 2006, Mr. Fitzgerald attached himself to 5 Platoon B Company and deployed to Afghanistan under the regiment, Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry. Experiencing intense combat during his time in Afghanistan, Mr. Fitzgerald was presented the Sacrifice Medal for his services and courageous acts of duty towards his fellow comrades. Upon discharge from the military, Mr. Fitzgerald suffered with PTSD and with the help of many supporters he was able to reintegrate into civilian life. He presently is highly involved in giving back to the military community and is a strong advocate for Highway of Heroes and many other service related initiatives. Mr. Fitzgerald now resides in Kingston, Ontario.

Meta Data
Veterans Affairs Canada
September 27, 2017
Person Interviewed:
Collin Fitzgerald
War, Conflict or Mission:
Canadian Armed Forces
Canadian Armed Forces
Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry (PPCLI)

Copyright / Permission to Reproduce

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