RCMP block the driveway of a Canoe property where a suspect in an armed robbery in Sicamous on July 3, 2015 is alleged to have driven into after fleeing police. (File photo)

Salmon Arm RCMP won’t be charged after officers shoot armed robbery suspect

BC Prosecution Service determines that evidence in 2015 shooting doesn’t justify charges.

Salmon Arm police officers will not be charged in the shooting of a suspect in a 2015 armed robbery and subsequent police chase.

The BC Prosecution Service announced Wednesday, May 16 that no charges will be laid against members of the Salmon Arm RCMP who were involved in the non-fatal shooting in Canoe, near Salmon Arm, on July 3, 2015. The officers were responding to a complaint of an armed robbery at a gas station in Sicamous involving an adult male suspect. The suspect reportedly fled the scene in a vehicle.

Related: Armed robbery suspect abandons vehicle in Canoe driveway

The BC Prosecution Service states that during their efforts to apprehend him, two officers discharged their firearms in separate encounters with the suspect. In the second encounter, he sustained serious gunshot injuries. The suspect was transported to hospital for medical treatment and subsequently recovered.

In reports at the time, police told the media that the suspect fled the scene in a blue SUV bearing Nova Scotia plates, which had been reported stolen in Saskatchewan.

RCMP, with the help of a 911 call from a Canoe resident, later found the vehicle in Canoe, where the suspect had abandoned it in a residential driveway.

A perimeter was established and a police dog and handler were used to establish a track. During the search, the dog handler was allegedly confronted by the suspect and the RCMP officer discharged his sidearm.

Related: Nine charges in armed robbery

The officer was also taken to hospital for a medical assessment.

The suspect was held in custody and is still facing charges with regard to the July 3 incident.

Related: RCMP shooting referred to Crown counsel

The incident was investigated by the Independent Investigations Office (IIO). The Interim Chief Civilian Director considered that RCMP officers may have committed criminal offences and on that basis he submitted a report to Crown Counsel for review by the prosecution service. The Interim Chief Civilian Director did not make a recommendation on whether charges should be approved.

After reviewing all the evidence provided, the prosecution service concluded that the standard for laying charges had not been met.

A statement explaining the reasons for not approving charges will be made public following the conclusion of related legal proceedings involving the suspect. As the related charges are still before the court, the prosecution service will not be releasing any further information at this time.


@SalmonArm
marthawickett@saobserver.net

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