Cop who shot Vancouver Island motorist gets assigned to desk duties
DUNCAN – B.C. A policeman who fired a shot critically injuring a 40-year-old motorist after a traffic stop has been assigned desk duties.
The Mountie will have to park his gun and push papers until an investigation is completed by Victoria police about what led him to pull the trigger on a motorist.
RCMP have kept silent for four days about why the cop pulled the trigger on the victim. A new press release issued on Wednesday made no reference to the reason for the shooting.
Police said they made a traffic stop in the 3000-block of Henry Road, in Chemainus on Vancouver Island, near Duncan. The man was shot at 9:30 p.m. on Friday.
“The officer who discharged his firearm, has been assigned to Administrative Duties, while the investigation into this matter, and an examination of his actions, progresses,” said Cpl. Darren Lagan in his statement released on Wednesday.
“During interactions between the vehicle occupants and police, one of the two officers present discharged his sidearm, striking the driver, who was outside the vehicle,” said the first press release issued by Duncan RCMP on Saturday.
” The only passenger in the vehicle, a 40-year-old man, was not injured, and taken into police custody,” they said, without explaining why the man was taken into custody.
On Wednesday, a press statement issued by Cpl. Darren Lagan said police stopped the car because they recognized the driver and knew he was prohibited from driving.
“The officers observed a vehicle being operated by a man known to be Prohibited from Driving, under the Criminal Code of Canada,” he said.
“ The vehicle and driver were known to the officers, from previous investigations. The officers initiated a stop of the vehicle, occupied by two adult males,” he said.
“Investigators have obtained witness statements from the officers involved in the incident, and other individuals identified through their investigation. These statements are currently being evaluated,” Lagan said.
“ Investigators have made attempts to obtain a statement from the driver, however, he has refused to speak to investigators at this time. The driver remains hospitalized in ‘serious/stable condition’. Investigators will release further information after it has been confirmed,”
Still, Lagan, approached by several reporters to explain why the man was shot, made no comment on the issue in his latest release.
Family members of the victim have said the trajectory of the bullet – into the neck, through the lungs and the spine would indicate the motorist was in a seated position on the roadside and the officer fired from above. An alternative explanation is that the shot was fired as the motorist was starting to sit on the ground as ordered by the cop.
The examination of the Officer’s decision to utilize his firearm, will not be conducted by the Integrated Major Crime Unit Investigators. That issue will be examined by a ‘Use of Force Expert’, also from outside of the RCMP.