The man who pleaded guilty to shooting his former boss in Yaletown two years ago has been sentenced to 18 years in jail Friday morning.
Gerald Battersby was shot in a dramatic gunfire exchange with police officers on June 10, 2014, in what Vancouver deputy police chief called an “extraordinary” incident at the time.
In a joint submission, Crown and Defence asked for 18 years in jail for Battersby: 11 years for the attempted murder of Dragan and seven years for the attempted murder of two police officers.
The sentence he received today will amount to 14.5 years in prison with credit for time served.
The brazen daylight shooting started in Yaletown. The owner of Reckless Cycles, 52-year-old Paul Dragan, was shot in front of a Starbucks on Davie Street and Marinaside Crescent. Battersby was Dragan’s former employee and tenant.
Two police officers were coincidentally at the Starbucks when the shooting broke out. Those two officers were able to help protect the victim and then chase the suspect to Science World. Battersby fired at a number of police officers during the ensuing shootout.
He was taken into custody and eventually charged. He pleaded not guilty at the time.
His employer at the time of the shooting said Battersby was going through a hard time in his life: he was recently evicted from a temporary shelter and was trying to deal with his mental health issues.
The Independent Investigations Office (IIO) investigated the incident because Battersby suffered gunshot wounds, but no charges were pressed.
WATCH: Court video shows the events that took place the day that Gerald Battersby shot his former boss Paul Dragan in Vancouver’s Yaletown.
On Sept. 15, Battersby pleaded guilty to five counts, including attempted murder of Paul Dragan and two police officers, intention to discharge a prohibited/restricted firearm and possession of a loaded prohibited firearm without proper authorization. Battersby waived his right to speak in court.
Crown lawyer Henry Reiner said Battersby has shown no remorse for the crime. Meanwhile, Battersby’s defence said their client was someone who had his “ups and downs,” but was once a successful musician and photographer.
Battersby’s victim, Paul Dragan, read out an emotional victim impact statement in court, saying he still lives in pain after a shooting that “shattered his body in a matter of seconds.”
Dragan said he gets anxious every time he hears sirens and can’t watch the news if it’s about a shooting. He also said he was fearful that if Battersby is released, he could cause him more harm.