Fort St. John man faces charges after Merritt RCMP chase, officer-involved shooting | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Fort St. John man faces charges after Merritt RCMP chase, officer-involved shooting

June 08, 2021 - 4:09 PM

A Fort St. John man has been charged with flight from police and five counts of attempted murder after a chase and gunfight with RCMP this past weekend.

Gerald Cooper, 46, was taken to hospital, along with a child under the age of 12, after unsuccessful attempts to stop the truck he was driving on Sunday, June 6.

Cooper was driving a white Ford F-350, which was involved in a theft in Lytton on June 5, according to a release from Merritt RCMP.

Throughout the chase, police and Cooper exchanged gun shots.

READ MORE: B.C.'s police watchdog investigating Merritt RCMP car chase, shooting

RCMP attempted to stop the truck around 3:50 p.m., but the Cooper fled with a stolen flat deck trailer he was pulling.

The truck was discovered on Highway 5A without the trailer, but continued to flee after police deployed a spike belt, until the vehicle came to a complete stop on Highway 8 near Highway 97C.

Only Cooper and the child, who was a passenger, were injured during the incident.

Cooper is expected to appear in Kamloops Provincial court on June 9, RCMP said.

The Independent Investigations Office of B.C. is investigating to ensure there was no police wrongdoing during the chase, shooting and subsequent arrest.

"Given police actions are subject to independent investigation by the Independent Investigations Office of BC and this matter is now before the court, no further information will be released by police," Staff Sgt. Janelle Shoihet of the B.C. RCMP said in the release.

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