WATCH: Trial begins for Okanagan man accused of trying to murder police officers
KELOWNA – A BC Supreme Court trial started in Kelowna Tuesday for a man accused of 22 offenses including five counts of attempted murder.
Michael Edward Ellis, 41, was arrested in July 2012 following an hour long, 80 kilometre pursuit along Westside Road that ended just north of Vernon.
The events unfolded after RCMP tried to pull over a mini van on Boucherie Road in West Kelowna.
Multiple gunshots struck two police vehicles and the van sped away.
During the pursuit, there were several exchanges of gunshots between officers and the three suspects.
Shots were also fired at a Highways Ministry worker who followed the suspects trying to get a license plate number.
His vehicle was struck several times but he was not.
And five times during the pursuit, the suspects either tried or succeeded in hijacking other vehicles at gunpoint.
“The driver started to get out and the passenger reached over with a gun and looked at me and said get out of your f***ing truck now. I knew he meant business so I did,” said Don Williamson.
After the arrests where Williamson’s vehicle was stopped with the help of spike belts, police recovered ammunition, a revolver and a pair of .22 rifles, one of them sawed off and the other with a laser sight.
When arrested, Ellis was wearing a glove.
The prosecutor says that’s significant because none of his fingerprints were on the guns or other collected evidence.
The trial, before a judge alone, is scheduled for five weeks.
The Crown will call more than three dozen witnesses.
The other two people charged in the case earlier pleaded guilty to firearms related offenses.
Shawn Wysinski and Ashley Collins have yet to be sentenced.