RCMP cleared of wrongdoing in shooting of man at Salmon Arm car wash - InfoNews

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RCMP cleared of wrongdoing in shooting of man at Salmon Arm car wash

Kaymen Winter, 22, is in hospital after an officer-involved shooting in Salmon Arm Jan. 30, 2017. (SUBMITTED)
Image Credit: SUBMITTED
February 19, 2018 - 11:38 AM

KAMLOOPS – The RCMP officer who fired 14 rounds at a pickup truck with a carbine rifle at a Salmon Arm car wash, hitting the suspect inside, will not face criminal charges.

An investigation has cleared the officer of any wrongdoing in the shooting of Kaymen Winter just over a year ago, according to a report release today, Feb. 19, by the Independent Investigations Office of B.C.

According to the report, police were called to a Salmon Arm car wash for reports of someone allegedly trying to break into a coin box. Within minutes, three officers arrived in separate vehicles. The officers are not identified by name in this report, only as Officer 1, Officer 2 and Officer 3.

Officers 2 and 3 surrounded the entrance and exit of the car wash, respectively, while Officer 1 stayed near a different door.

Although Winter is not specifically named in the report, the circumstances of the situation match closely to what the Independent Investigations Office and RCMP said about the incident at the time.

While the officers surrounded the car wash bay, Winter allegedly got into his pickup truck and exited the bay. He started to drive out, and according to the report, later told the Independent Investigations Office that his intent was to drive past Officer 3's vehicle when there was space to do so.

An image of the scene on Jan. 30, 2017 provided by the Independent Investigations Office of B.C. SUBMITTED/IIOBC
An image of the scene on Jan. 30, 2017 provided by the Independent Investigations Office of B.C. SUBMITTED/IIOBC

Investigators found the officer acted in a responsible manner firing 14 shots with a carbine rifle at the pickup Winter, who was 22 years old at the time, was driving as he tried to getaway from police. 

The report says the officer had to make a split second decision about what, in his mind, was needed to protect a fellow officer from being run over and possibly killed.

"In that situation, the law did not require the officer to first carefully calculate how much force was need," the report says. "If he took that time, the officer may have been killed."

Winter suffered multiple gunshot wounds, including a shot to the head, but ultimately survived his injuries.

Officers are not required to disclose statements, notes, reports or data to the Independent Investigations Office, and in this case Officer 1 declined to do so.

Although there was a CCTV system in place at the car wash, the report states the system was not set to record so the event was not captured.

Winter told the Independent Investigations Office that because he had outstanding warrants out, his first reaction was to flee.

"It’s not like my truck was like right coming right for the cop," Winter said. "My intentions were to…drive around the…cop. Because there was -- like how he parked he parked at an angle and so there was just enough room for me to go around… because he was on the 45, and the hedge was right here, so there was just enough room to make it. But it's not like he was like right in front of the vehicle and I was trying to go through him."

Officer 3 told investigators he felt like the suspect's truck was coming right at him, and feared for his life until Officer 1 began firing.

"I felt like my life was no longer in danger because the truck is now not trying to hop the curb at me. It's resting in front of my police vehicle," Officer 3 said.

The report says if he had not attempted to flee he would not have been injured.

The matter will not be brought to Crown with any charges, as it was found there was no offence committed by the officer.

Winter is expected to go to trial on some charges relating to this matter, but a date for that has not yet been set.

— This story was updated at 1:33 p.m. Monday, Feb. 19, 2018 to include more information from the Independent Investigations Office's report.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Ashley Legassic or call 250-319-7494 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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