December 02, 2015 - 9:00 PM
KAMLOOPS - It’s been one year since residents in the Batchelor Heights neighbourhood of Kamloops awoke to the sound of gunfire, only to find out a Mountie was gravely injured and a manhunt was underway.
Cpl. Jean-Rene Michaud pulled a white sedan over on the side of the road on Dec. 3, 2014, around 2:45 a.m. before he was shot several times by one of the occupants of the car. As Michaud lay on the ground with serious injuries, a nearby officer exchanged gunfire with the suspects before the vehicle took off.
RCMP and several other agencies took control of Batchelor Heights shortly afterward. While the one road in and out of the neighbourhood was blocked off and a small number of residents were evacuated, the whole city felt the tension as police and an emergency response team combed through each street searching for suspects and the sedan.
After a 12-hour manhunt, police announced they arrested 36-year-old suspect Kenneth Michael Knutson.
Michaud’s recovery — which included intense surgeries and an emergency air evacuation to Vancouver — took months. He has since been released from Royal Inland Hospital but it is unknown if his return to policing is full-time or not. In a statement provided to media last December, Michaud’s wife thanked the community and RCMP for support.
"Every law enforcement spouse fears that one day, they will get 'the knock' at the door to tell us our loved one has been hurt, but most of us think ‘it will not happen to me’. On Dec. 3, 2014, I received that knock in the middle of the night, and my world was shattered. My husband, Jean-Rene Michaud, was shot multiple times and critically wounded in a senseless and unforgivable act of violence,” she said. "Our family has received overwhelming support, not only from residents of Kamloops, but also from across Canada. Words cannot describe how thankful we are for your words of encouragement, and your thoughtfulness. Your messages have given me strength in the darkest of days, and I know they will help Jean-Rene throughout his recovery."
The event may be over, but the case is still alive before the courts. Knutson is scheduled to appear for a preliminary hearing next week. If lawyers determine there is enough evidence to proceed with trial, the accused will face a series of charges including attempted murder, aggravated assault, using a restricted firearm and attempting to wound, maim, disfigure or endanger.
Knutson is scheduled to appear in court on Dec. 7.
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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2015