Derek Cote said he doesn’t remember the RCMP shots that shattered his right ankle and almost severed his spine on the side of the highway near Clavet last month.

The 35-year-old from Imperial was blacked out on booze and prescription drugs when officers pulled over the half-ton truck they suspected was linked to a series of break-ins at Watrous.

"I’m sorry for all the trouble I caused," Cote said in court today.  

"I was taking prescription drugs and drinking and I blacked out, I don’t remember what happened. I stand here to take the punishment for the crimes I committed," he said.

Cote pleaded guilty to a range of firearms and theft charges. 

Prosecutor Lori Chambers said a lone RCMP officer pulled over the half-ton truck at about 3 p.m. CST on April 26. There were three men and a woman inside. The officer called for back-up to help with the "high-risk arrest."

Chambers said moments later the officers ordered the people out of the truck. Two of the men co-operated, lying on the side of the highway. But when Cote emerged, he refused to lay down or put his hands on his head. 

Instead, she said that he went back to the truck and returned carrying a camouflaged, long-barrelled firearm. The officers yelled to each other, confirming Cote was armed.

"He walked towards the officers, raising the firearm," Chambers said. 

He flinched when officers fired, but then raised the rifle again. They fired again, and he went down. 

"Frankly, I think he is incredibly lucky to be alive," she said. 

Defense lawyer Myron Weber said officers fired three times and hit Cote twice. One bullet completely shattered his right ankle, another went in his neck and exited beside his spine. 

"He is accepting his guilt and making no excuses whatsoever," Weber said. 

"I asked him. "is this a case of suicide by cop?" He said he isn’t sure." 

The judge sentenced Cote to five years on all charges.