Police search for man accused of trying to shoot an officer, leading car chase

NEW WESTMINSTER, B.C. - A man accused of trying to shoot an officer before leading police on a high-speed chase across the Lower Mainland should be considered armed and dangerous, police say.

Patrol officers responded around 10 a.m. on Monday to reports of two people sleeping in a vehicle parked behind an apartment building on the 100 block of Royal Avenue in New Westminster, B.C.

After being woken up, the driver allegedly pointed a handgun at an officer from inside the vehicle and pulled the trigger.

"Thankfully that firearm did not discharge," said Sgt. Chad Johnston of the New Westminster Police Department.

Johnston said the man then led officers on a chase through New Westminster, Burnaby and Vancouver, and was last seen on Southeast Marine Drive and Inverness Street in Vancouver around 11 a.m.

The pursuit was not a consistent 60-minute chase, said Johnston, adding that the suspect's vehicle came in and out of contact with police.

"Sometimes people think that we just keep a bead on (a suspect) and go with them," said Johnston, refuting the Hollywood version of police car chases.

"If these people are driving so recklessly where they're taking a chance of running intersections or stop signs or that kind of thing, all it takes is a few seconds while our officers are clearing intersections safely for that vehicle to make a right and a left and be gone."

Police said the suspect has full sleeve tattoos and a hoop earring in his left ear, while his passenger is a woman with reddish hair, wearing a floral-patterned tank top and tights. Neither has been identified.

The vehicle, a rented white, four-door Buick Lacrosse with Alberta plates, was located at about 8 p.m. Monday evening in a residential driveway with no connection to the case.

Police said the car was unoccupied and was being processed by the forensic unit.

The car was involved in several hit and runs during the chase but there are no reports of anyone being injured.

New Westminster's major crime unit has taken over the file, said Johnston, but virtually all police agencies in the Lower Mainland are collaborating in the search.

"I'm really, really urging the public that if anyone comes across this vehicle to not approach (it)," he added. "We are considering the occupants to be armed and dangerous."

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