File photo Police cruisers cordon off an area at a Canoe property during an incident in which an armed robbery suspect was shot by an RCMP officer.

RCMP shooting referred to Crown counsel

Independent Investigations Office says RCMP officer may have committed offence

The 2015 shooting of a suspect by an RCMP officer has been forwarded to Crown counsel for consideration of charges.

The Independent Investigations Office (IIO) of BC has concluded an officer may have committed an offence in a July 3 incident in Canoe in which suspect Shyan Davis Calllingbull Coon sustained serious injuries.

The officer has not been identified as criminal charges have not been laid.

IIO spokesperson Marten Youssef says the organization does not recommend charges or prosecute but sends a report on their findings to Crown counsel if the chief civilian director identifies that an officer may have committed an offence.

“We believe a potential offence may have been committed and, as such, we have sent it to Crown,” said Youssef of the incident involving Coon.

“The IIO’s referral standard is much lower than any other law enforcement agency in B.C.,” he added, noting if Crown agrees, the police officer will be going to court.

Crown counsel’s policy on assessment relies on a two-part test: “there must be a substantial likelihood of conviction based on evidence gathered by the investigating agency, and a prosecution must be required in the public interest.”

The investigation stems from an incident that began on the evening of Friday, July 3, 2015 when Sicamous RCMP responded to a report of an armed robbery at a gas station in that community.

Police reported 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.

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

Coon, 20, was held in custody and later charged with robbery, using an imitation firearm to commit an indictable offence, dangerous operation of a motor vehicle, four counts of assault with a weapon, flight from a peace officer, and possession of property obtained by crime in regards to the July 3 incident.

Coon’s injuries were said to be serious, but not life threatening.

He is currently awaiting trial on these charges.

The IIO is also investigating a Jan. 30 incident in which a suspect was shot by police at the Xcalibur Car Wash in the 2300 block of 10th Avenue.

According to police, the man attempted to escape and was subsequently shot.

“Our investigation (on the incident) is well under way and ongoing,” said Youssef, noting that if the IIO determines there is insufficient evidence to forward the case to Crown, a comprehensive police report available to the public will be posted on the IIO website at www.iiobc.ca/cases.

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