No charges for officer who shot at vehicle during pursuit on Perimeter Highway last March

An RCMP officer who fired his gun at a man’s vehicle while he was attempting to flee last March will not face charges after an investigation by Manitoba’s police watchdog. 

Police were called about a man in distress with a firearm in his vehicle

The incident in question happened last March when police were responding to a call about a distraught man with a gun who had fled in his vehicle. (CBC)

An RCMP officer will not face charges for shooting at a suspect's vehicle during a chase last March after an investigation by Manitoba's police watchdog. 

The incident in question happened on March 2, 2020, when officers from the East St. Paul detachment were called about a distraught man with a firearm who had fled in his vehicle.

Officers stopped the man in his vehicle along the Perimeter Highway near Pipeline Road. When the man tried to drive away, an officer shot at the tire of the vehicle to try to stop him. 

The man drove home with a flat tire, where he surrendered to police. 

No one was injured, but the Independent Investigation Unit felt it was in the public's best interest to investigate. 

The officers involved said the 911 caller had said the man was "freaking out" and would shoot at police if they came to the man's house. In a subsequent call, police were told the man had left the house and had guns in his vehicle. 

In his notes, the subject officer said he believed the man posed an immediate threat to the public due to the information police were given and his own observations. 

In the course of the investigation, the Independent Investigation also spoke with the man driving the vehicle, who said in the moment he felt threatened and that his life was in danger. 

After concluding his investigation, the IIU's civilian director Zane Tessler forwarded his findings to Manitoba Prosecution Services, who concluded this was a justifiable use of force and there was no basis to lay criminal charges. 

The Independent Investigation Unit finished its investigation last December, but only recently released its report on the incident as it was still before the courts.