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Kamloops cops troubled by level of violence, weapons in drug trade

Kamloops Supt. Syd Lecky speaks with media on Wednesday, March 6, 2019, about ongoing and active investigations.
March 06, 2019 - 1:05 PM

KAMLOOPS — As Kamloops Mounties continue to deal with a local drug trade that has erupted in violence, they are facing military weaponry on the streets. 

Kamloops Supt. Syd Lecky said today, March 6, they are seizing military-style weapons, also known as carbines — and simply knowing they are out there in the hands of people prepared to use them is having an impact on local officers.

"We as an organization, have only recently obtained carbines. Carbines are the weapons that are often seen in the military," he says, adding that they have seized a number of automatic and semi-automatic high powered rifles in the past year.

He also adds that police have seized guns with silencers on them, something that police see as troubling.

"There is no reason to have a silencer on a gun unless it's intended for the purpose to shoot people without being heard. That's a concern," Lecky says.

Lecky also explained how these types of weapons also pose a concern to officers responding to calls.

"It's bad enough when you think you are going to deal with bad people who might want to cause you harm with weapons of opportunity but if you know they are traveling with those types of things, that goes through the thoughts of our members [and] investigators and how we are going to approach those people," he says.

Lecky also explained how an officer involved shooting in September 2018 resulted in the death of a man after an exchange of gunfire in the Rose Hill area as an example of when an officer might fire their weapon if they feel threatened.

The RCMP notified the Independent Investigation Office after the shooting. The findings from this incident have yet to be made public.

"I can't comment on the specifics of it but... police don't get involved with shootings unless they feel threatened and their lives are at risk or someone else's life is at risk," he says. "I really look forward to when that information is released publicly."

Lecky says it could also give the public some insight into the pressures police officers are put under.

"In my opinion that was the single biggest impact in our detachment last year," he says. 

Historically, Lecky says Kamloops has had a significant amount of violence towards police.

"I have never seen the violence targeted directly towards police as I have seen here," he says, adding that he is not entirely sure why that is.

"For whatever reason, we have had significant police involved shootings, and members who have been assaulted," he says.

Lecky also gave an update on the recent homicide investigations dating back to late last year when Troy Gold was murdered. Lecky says suspects have been identified but there have been no arrests after Gold's remains were found outside city limits in the Lac Du Bois grasslands areas.

Two murder suspects, Hugh McIntosh and Gordon Braaten were both recently arrested for the murder of Jason Glover.  Lecky says they are still working on identifying suspects for two homicides which occurred in January where an innocent bystander was killed.

Police investigations remain active for a shooting near Thompson Rivers University last June as well as a stabbing incident last July where a man was found with a stab wound in Sahali.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Karen Edwards or call (250) 819-3723 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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