B.C. IIO report opens door for charges in Kelowna traffic stop that ended with shots fired, man in hospital

A photo of the scene on Highland Drive in Kelowna, hours after the incident. The IIO said the driver of the pickup truck was admitted to hospital with serious injuries. Jeff Martin / Global News

A vehicle pursuit in Kelowna that ended with shots being fired and a man in hospital could be bound for court after being investigated by B.C.’s police watchdog.

The Independent Investigations Office of BC says it has filed a report to the BC Prosecution Service for consideration of charges regarding the incident.

According to the IIO, the shooting happened on Dec. 22 at 12:10 a.m. after a pickup truck fled from a traffic stop, leaving Highway 97 and turning onto residential roads.

Read more: Kelowna driver in hospital after police-involved shooting

“The officer pursued and when they reached a dead-end street, an interaction occurred between the man and the officer which resulted in shots being fired by the officer,” said the IIO.

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When B.C. RCMP first announced the incident involving the officer from Central Okanagan Traffic Services, they said that following the interaction, the driver continued on, but was admitted to hospital with what were believed to be non-life-threatening gunshot injuries.

Further, the IIO said its chief civilian director reviewed the evidence and determined that reasonable grounds exist to believe that the officer may have committed offences during the chase and shooting.

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As such, the IIO said pursuant to Section 38.11 of the Police Act, it forwarded a report for consideration of potential charges.

However, the report being forwarded doesn’t mean the case is going to court, the IIO noted.

It said in order for charges to be approved, the BC Prosecution Service must be satisfied there will be a substantial likelihood of conviction, along with public interest.

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The BC Prosecution Service said on Wednesday that it is waiting for formal receipt of the investigative file, and that once it is received, the charge assessment process will commence.

Further, it said that once a decision is reached, a statement will be released.

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