4 charged after Sask. officer leaps to avoid being hit during vehicle pursuit

Four people are facing charges after an RCMP officer had to leap out of the way to avoid being hit by a vehicle last week. File / Global News

Loon Lake RCMP say four people are facing charges after an officer had to leap out of the way to avoid being hit by a suspect vehicle last week.

Officers were called to a man with a head injury at a home on the Makwa Sahgaiehcan First Nation early in the morning on Jan. 17. The injured man was taken to hospital in Meadow Lake for treatment of what appeared to be serious but non-life-threatening injuries.

READ MORE: Five-year-old boy injured when bullets strike northern Saskatchewan home

Minutes later, multiple gunshot complaints were reported on the First Nation. No suspects were found, however, police located shotgun pellets in a door and siding on the outside of a home.

Investigators believe these two incidents are related and are due to gang-related activity in the area.

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As a result of the investigation, a gold truck was identified as a suspect vehicle.

Shortly after noon on Jan. 18, multiple tips reported the truck driving on the First Nation. Investigators quickly determined there was a black SUV travelling with the gold truck.

Both vehicles were located in Loon Lake at roughly 1:30 p.m. and RCMP set up road blocks on highways in the surrounding area.

When the vehicles left Loon Lake on Highway 26, the SUV was damaged by a spike belt at a road block.

Both vehicles were later located 1.6 kilometres north of the location of the spike belt. Officers saw the occupants of the now-disabled SUV entering the truck.

Police said one of the suspects running to the truck appeared to be pointing a firearm at the officers. The truck then fled the scene.

Officers located the truck turning east off of Highway 26 when it fled through deep snow. The vehicle got onto Highway 55 where it was clocked travelling at up to 150 kilometres per hour before entering Pierceland.

READ MORE: Charges laid in Big River First Nation hit-and-run death

Another spike belt was successfully used as the vehicle was heading east, however the driver of the truck did not stop.

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RCMP said they pursued the truck as it went over a spike belt and almost struck an officer while still travelling at a high rate of speed. The suspect vehicle finally stopped after colliding with a police vehicle.

Two guns were located by officers.

Tonia Cantell, 20, Tonio Cantell, 21, Cody Dillon, 23, and Juanita Wahpistikwan, 18, were arrested.

They face charges of assault on a peace officer with a weapon, dangerous operation of a motor vehicle, possession of property obtained by crime, and flight from police. The accused made their first Meadow Lake provincial court appearance on Monday.

The investigation into the injured man and the gunshots on Makwa Sahgaiehcan First Nation is going.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Loon Lake RCMP at 306-837-2440 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.

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