Fugitive shot at least once during gunfight

Fugitive killer William Bicknell was shot at least once when he was recaptured by police in northern Alberta on March 19.
Cache of weapons seized by police after the arrest of William Bicknell Saturday. (Supplied)

Fugitive killer William Bicknell was shot at least once when he was recaptured by police in northern Alberta on March 19. 

Bicknell escaped from custody March 10 when he overpowered an unarmed guard while being escorted to Edmonton on a day pass from Drumheller Institution.

Bicknell's life as a fugitive began to unravel when he entered the home of an elderly woman north of Sexsmith, Alta. Saturday morning, RCMP said Friday.

William Bicknell escaped March 10 while on an escorted leave. (RCMP)
After allegedly holding the woman captive for more than eight hours, Bicknell allowed her to call her son. During the call, she managed drop hints that something was wrong, police said.

Her son quickly left for his mother's home. After finding Bicknell's car hidden in a garage, he called police.

When the woman saw a police car, she slipped out of the house and ran to her neighbour's home. Bicknell left the house, blasting gunshots at a civilian vehicle parked in the yard to disable it, police said.

Gunfire disabled police car

The police car began tailing Bicknell as he headed south towards Sexsmith. Several times Bicknell stopped to shoot at the patrol car, finally hitting and disabling it,  RCMP said.

But by then other police cars had arrived to continue the chase. Bicknell continue to shoot at police, but this time this time officers returned fire.

One officer was slightly hurt when he was hit in the head by shrapnel but Bicknell was shot at least once, police said.

Police truck hit by gunfire during takedown. (Supplied)
Police allege Bicknell then drove at the officers but ended up in the ditch. Police kept Bicknell contained in his car while waiting for the emergency response team to arrive.

Shortly after 8:00 p.m., Bicknell surrendered. Police said they seized a cache of firearms and ammunition from the vehicle.

Chief Superintendent Marianne Ryan praised the officers for the takedown.

"These officers displayed amazing courage in their efforts to arrest Bicknell, who shot at them many times," she said.

Bicknell is still in hospital.

He is now facing charges in relation to this incident including five counts of discharging a firearm with intent to endanger life and three counts of attempted murder. No court date has yet been set.

He faces numerous other charges in relation to his escape from custody and the hostage-taking of a man near Vegreville on Mar. 14.