Witnesses take stand in RCMP firearm trial

Testimony gets underway as trial begins for RCMP officer charged with careless use or storage of a firearm from an incident in 2012.

  • Oct. 6, 2015 6:00 a.m.

The trial of a Cranbrook RCMP officer continued Tuesday in Cranbrook Supreme Court, as witnesses and responding officers testified in front of Justice Trevor Armstrong and the jury.

Richard Drought was charged with careless use or storage of a firearm after the Independent Investigations Office (IIO) recommended the charge that stemmed from a police incident in October 2012.

Crown counsel Oleh Kuzma set up the framework of the trial in his opening statement to Justice Trevor Armstrong and the jury.

On Oct. 2, 2012 a Toyota 4Runner was violently carjacked near Yahk by Nickolas Bullock and a young female companion who was underage at the time and can’t be identified.

Bullock drove the vehicle towards Cranbrook, with the RCMP beginning a pursuit near Elizabeth Lake that ended on a rural acreage at the top of Victoria Avenue near the College of the Rockies Gold Creek campus.

In the course of the incident, a firearm was discharged as the driver of the SUV steered towards a parked RCMP cruiser.

The day began with Justice Armstrong delivering instructions to the jury, before two RCMP officers and two witnesses to the incident testified.

The two witnesses did not see the actual gunshots, but heard the loud bang that is indicative of a firearm discharging.

In both cases, they both described how the police siren became louder as the cruiser arrived on scene with flashing blue and red emergency lights.

One witness who was in her home during the incident testified she saw an SUV coming out of a wooded area driving towards a parked RCMP cruiser before hearing ‘three to four’ loud bangs. The witness did not see an RCMP officer firing a weapon.

Upon hearing the shots, she ducked down under the windowsill from her viewing point before moving to another room and opening the window.

She further testified at that point that she could hear one authoritative voice and a different voice that responded in mumbles.

Another witness who was in her home during the incident, but did not see the actual shooting testified she hear ‘five or six’ loud bangs in quick succession. She went and looked out the back door of the home, which provided a line of sight to the scene.

She saw the police cruiser and heard two voices—one calling for backup, while the other was voice was distraught and hysterical.

Two RCMP officers who attended the scene also testified to the court.

Cpl. Spencer Marginson photographed the area upon arrival in the early hours of Oct. 3, 2012. He then took photos of tire impressions and returned the next day during daylight hours for further photographic documentation.

Cpl. Jeffrey Whitfield provided testimony as he was asked to survey the scene, providing an overview map and a specific site map illustrating the location of the police vehicle and other evidence, such as shell casings, were found.

The trial is expected to run 10-13 days.

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Hugs and slugs
Second Wave Hugs & Slugs: Stay calm, be kind

Hugs: Huge Hugs for Harriet Pollock for the 35 years of participation… Continue reading

A laboratory technician holds a dose of a COVID-19 novel coronavirus vaccine candidate that’s ready for trial on monkeys at the National Primate Research Center of Thailand. (Mladen Antonov - AFP)
Interior Health reports 66 new COVID-19 infections

570 cases are active; 18 in hospital

Chris testing out the potential new van with his caregiver Kerry. Photo submitted.
Kimberley man starts GoFundMe for urgently needed wheelchair accessible van

Christopher Green, a Kimberley native currently residing in Tata Creek, has launched… Continue reading

(stock photo)
Josh Dueck named Team Canada chef de mission for 2022 Beijing Paralympics

An acclaimed Paralympic champion with local roots has been named to a… Continue reading

A woman wearing a face mask to curb the spread of COVID-19 uses walking sticks while walking up a hill, in New Westminster, B.C., on Sunday, November 29, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Interior Health reports 83 more COVID-19 infections overnight

46 cases are now associated with a COVID-19 community cluster in Revelstoke

Janet Austin, the lieutenant-governor of British Columbia, not seen, swears in Premier John Horgan during a virtual swearing in ceremony in Victoria, Thursday, Nov. 26, 2020. Horgan says he will look to fill gaps in the federal government’s sick-pay benefits program aimed at preventing the spread of COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. premier says province prepared to patch holes in new federal sick-pay benefits

Horgan said workers should not be denied pay when they are preventing COVID-19’s spread

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s coronavirus situation at the legislature, Nov. 30, 2020. (B.C. government)
Hockey team brought COVID-19 back from Alberta, B.C. doctor says

Dr. Bonnie Henry pleads for out-of-province travel to stop

B.C. Premier John Horgan on a conference call with religious leaders from his B.C. legislature office, Nov. 18, 2020, informing them in-person church services are off until further notice. (B.C. government)
B.C. tourism relief coming soon, Premier John Horgan says

Industry leaders to report on their urgent needs next week

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

An RCMP cruiser looks on as a military search and rescue helicopter winds down near Bridesville, B.C. Tuesday, Dec. 1. Photo courtesy of RCMP Cpl. Jesse O’Donaghey
B.C. Mountie, suspect airlifted by Canadian Armed Forces from ravine after foot chase

Military aircraft were dispatched from Comox, B.C., say RCMP

Most Read