3 people charged with theft, dangerous driving in Calgary police shooting
Three people known to police have been charged in connection with a series of events leading up to a police shooting that happened Thursday in Calgary’s Auburn Bay neighbourhood.
According to a police news release on Saturday, Darby Benedict, 22, is charged with possession of property obtained by crime over $5,000 and three counts of failure to comply with condition of a recognizance.
Cole McLean, 30, is charged with dangerous operation of a motor vehicle, driving while disqualified, possession of property obtained by crime over $5,000 and driving uninsured on the highway. He is also charged with breaching his probation order, unlawfully being in a house and urinating or defecating in public.
In addition to failure to comply charges, Brady Gillingham, 33, is charged with possession of property obtained by crime over $5,000, assaulting a peace officer with a weapon and dangerous operation of a motor vehicle while being pursued by a peace officer.
Benedict and McLean are scheduled to appear in court on Tuesday.
Gillingham is expected in court on Wednesday.
Police said in a news release Friday they began tracking a stolen vehicle at around 4:30 p.m. Thursday with the assistance of the tactical team and the Calgary police HAWCS helicopter.
WATCH: Calgary police Deputy Chief Bob Ritchie issues a statement after one man was injured in an officer-involved shooting.
At around 6 p.m., police said the vehicle – a Dodge Ram – was spotted in the Ogden neighbourhood.
Deputy chief Bob Ritchie said there were two people inside the truck at the time, a 20-year-old man and a 22-year-old woman, who were believed to have been involved in a “series of car prowlings” involving a weapon on Wednesday. A police release later corrected the man’s age to 30.
“As a result of the possible presence of a firearm in this vehicle, the auto theft resource team contacted our tactical unit and also engaged the use of HAWCS for surveillance,” Ritchie explained at a Friday afternoon news conference.
WATCH: Suspects believed to have committed several offences with weapon.
Police followed the vehicle for four and a half hours, Ritchie said, before it finally stopped at a home in Auburn Bay. Ritchie said there were several people gathered in the garage of the home, so police decided not to continue with their arrest as it was not safe.
Meanwhile, officers set up a spike belt a short distance away from the home. At around 10:30 p.m., Ritchie said the Dodge Ram left the home and drove over the spike belt. Despite puncturing the front right tire, the vehicle continued driving.
The Dodge Ram eventually came to a stop in the 100-block of Autumn View S.E.
Witnesses said someone tried to break into some homes on that street.
“I heard a crash from broken glass … I missed the guy coming in and out of the house but I saw a neighbour all upset because this guy was in his house,” area resident David Smith said.
Ritchie said another vehicle, also believed to be stolen, arrived in the area and attempted to pick up the pair inside the truck. The second vehicle, a Toyota Highlander, was being driven by a 33-year-old man, Ritchie said.
Two tactical vehicles tried to stop the Highlander “when a confrontation occurred,” Ritchie said.
“At this time, a tactical unit member discharged his service firearm.”
WATCH: Police say more than 1 stolen vehicle encountered before officer-involved shooting.
One person was taken into custody and transported to hospital in stable condition. The other two suspects fled the scene, but were arrested a short time later.
“Our officers faced a situation that required the use of force,” Ritchie said.
Stolen vehicles an ongoing issue faced by Calgary police
Ritchie said the incident highlights an ongoing problem in Calgary: stolen vehicles. He said while at times stolen vehicles are used by suspects to get from one place to the next, they are often used for much more serious crimes.
“It becomes a weapons offence, or it becomes used in break-and-enters and used in ATM thefts. The list goes on and on and on. So we’re seeing the complexity of what a stolen vehicle on the surface might be is much, much deeper once we dig into it,” he explained.
“Although our officers are incredibly well trained, their response to stolen vehicles requires them to face dangerous and dynamic situations, and offenders who are persistent in their pursuit of criminal activities.
“Our response to this issue requires an extensive use of resources and often result in dynamic situations in which public safety and the safety of our officers is at risk.”
WATCH: Police say stolen vehicle cases often lead to more serious crimes.
Ritchie said the rise in stolen vehicles has been ongoing for the past five years or so. He said police are making headway in reducing the number of stolen vehicles, an effort that takes a strong commitment and collaboration with the community.
With files from Spencer Gallichan-Lowe, Nathan Taylor and Kaylen Small, Global News.
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