Police cruisers cordon off an area at a Canoe property in July 2015 during an incident in which an armed robbery suspect was shot by a RCMP officer. (File photo)

Man shot after striking RCMP officer with baseball bat sentenced

Unmarked police cruiser stolen in one of two crime sprees detailed in Salmon Arm court

An apology began the sentencing of Shyan Davis Callingbull Coon, the 24-year-old man charged in connection to a July 2015 robbery in Sicamous which was followed by a police chase that ended in gunshots outside a Canoe residence.

Coon, speaking in Salmon Arm court via video from the Kamloops Regional Correctional Centre April 30, apologized to his family, his girlfriend and the people harmed in his crime sprees.

“First I’d like to apologize for all the hurt and suffering to my family,” he said. “Especially given their occupation … and all the stress and worry,” said Coon.

Both his mother and stepfather are police officers who were working in the Lower Mainland. In April 2018, during a second crime spree, he stole an unmarked police car from them.

He also apologized to his robbery victims, referring to the traumatic experience of being robbed.

“No amount of remorse can make up for it,” he said, describing the time as “a regrettable phase in my own life.”

Read more: Armed robbery suspect abandons vehicle in Canoe driveway

Read more: Nine charges in armed robbery

Read more: Robbery leads to police shooting; independent investigation underway

Provincial court Judge Dennis Morgan went through the chain of events. The 2015 spree began at the end of June in Saskatchewan when Coon was arrested after taking off when police spotted him driving erratically, his vehicle ending up on a rail bed.

On July 2, wearing a mask and wielding a replica gun, he approached a woman and stole her Subaru vehicle.

The next day in Sicamous, again wearing a mask and carrying a fake gun, he stole cash and cigarettes at a gas station. A police chase followed and Coon failed to stop at a road block. He pointed the replica gun at a civilian and at police, the court heard.

Coon abandoned the car at a residence in Canoe, and ran into a barn to hide.

When a police officer entered the building, he was hit with a baseball bat. Coon was then shot several times and caught with the help of a police dog, the judge said.

Although not part of the sentencing, the shooting sparked an investigation by the Independent Investigations Office, which submitted a report to Crown counsel for review. The BC Prosecution Service concluded that two Salmon Arm officers had discharged their firearms in separate encounters with the armed suspect, and no charges would be laid against them.

The court heard that Coon’s internal organs were damaged in the shooting, including his kidneys, spleen and intestine and he required surgery. He wears an ostomy bag and may have to have a kidney removed.

In April 2018, he stole the unmarked police car. It was spotted in Vancouver, seen fleeing with occupants at a high speed. The driver escaped police but the passenger was caught and the passenger identified Coon as the driver.

About three weeks later, Coon robbed a 7-Eleven in Bonnyville, Alta. with his face masked and carrying an air gun.

The next day he robbed a Co-op gas station, leaving in a stolen F150 truck. Police attempted to stop him but he drove away, was pursued, the vehicle ended up in a ditch and was captured. He had breached several conditions when out on bail, including not possessing weapons.

Read more: RCMP shooting referred to Crown counsel

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

Read more: Man charged in 2015 Sicamous robbery to be sentenced in August

In reviewing Coon’s history, Morgan noted Coon’s biological father was physically abusive and addicted to drugs. As a young boy, perhaps three, he stood in front of his father so he wouldn’t beat up his mother. His father left when he was still young. At age eight he was sexually assaulted by his grandmother’s ex-partner over several months, something no one knew about at the time.

Coon is Cree, and the court heard there has been much intergenerational trauma in his family due to grandparents, great-grandparents and other family members being forced to attend residential schools in B.C. and Alberta, where many of them suffered abuse. He has been diagnosed with ADHD as well as anxiety and depression. He also became addicted to alcohol and hard drugs.

“It’s clear to me drugs and alcohol are behind these offences and if it hadn’t been for drugs and alcohol, you wouldn’t be before the court,” the judge told Coon.

Coon has already spent more than two-and-a-half years in jail, which gives him credit for four years. The sentence for his crimes was six years. The end result, in keeping with a joint submission from Crown and defence lawyers, is that he will serve a further two years and nine days, followed by three years’ probation.

His probation order includes having no contact with the places where he committed the robberies or with the 10 victims.

He must not possess alcohol or drugs unless with medical approval and he will be subject to a lifetime firearms ban. He must take programs and counselling as set up by his probation officer.

Morgan asked Coon to apologize to his mother for him about the timing of the sentencing, which was scheduled for later but was moved up. He said he knew she wanted to be in attendance, as she had been at the previous hearing.


@SalmonArm
marthawickett@saobserver.net

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