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Charges approved against man accused of ramming B.C. RCMP cruiser, injuring Mountie


Charges have been approved against a man accused of ramming his SUV into a police cruiser and injuring an officer at an RCMP detachment on Vancouver Island early Friday morning.

The man was shot by a Mountie in the parking lot of the North Cowichan-Duncan detachment and rushed to hospital, as was the injured officer. Both sustained non-life-threatening injuries and the officer has since been released from hospital, according to Island District RCMP spokesperson Cpl. Alex Bérubé.

Lunden Taylor Howard, born in 1994, is charged with assaulting a police officer with a weapon in connection with the incident at the police station on Canada Avenue in Duncan.

Howard is also charged with assault by choking and breach of recognizance in Esquimalt earlier that day.

The Independent Investigations Office of B.C. (IIO) is still investigating what Insp. Chris Bear of the North Cowichan-Duncan RCMP called "a very disturbing incident" at the police station.

Witness video taken from an apartment building beside the station shows a man in a grey hooded sweatshirt standing next to a dark-coloured SUV that has crashed head-on into an RCMP cruiser, forcing the police vehicle into a ditch.

Two uniformed RCMP officers approach the man who appears to be accessing the rear passenger seat of the SUV.

One officer can be seen drawing his weapon as the man turns toward him. A single gunshot is heard and the man falls backward onto the ground.

"The main issue for us will be whether or not the officer who shot the civilian had reasonable, probable grounds to believe that there was a risk of grievous bodily harm or death to him or another individual," Ronald J. MacDonald, the IIO's chief civilian director, told CTV News after launching the investigation.

A man is accused of ramming his SUV into a police cruiser and injuring an officer before he was shot at an RCMP detachment on Vancouver Island on May 12, 2023. (CTV News)

It was the second police shooting in Duncan in just over six weeks after an RCMP officer shot a man who was driving a piece of heavy construction equipment through a residential neighbourhood at night.

Police said they received a report of an intoxicated man on a skid-steer loader around 9:15 p.m. on March 28. A slow chase ensued and the skid-steer collided with police vehicles before officers opened fire on the man, striking him twice in the head.

The man survived and is still recovering from serious injuries. The IIO is still investigating the incident.

"Across Canada, this has been an exceptionally difficult year for policing, with several officers killed in the line of duty," Mike Farnworth, B.C.'s minister of public safety and solicitor general, said in a statement Monday recognizing National Police Week.

"In our largest cities and smallest towns, in remote villages and Indigenous communities, we rely on police officers to prevent crime and violence, and protect people. Every day they selflessly and courageously uphold public safety, putting their lives at risk so the rest of us can live in peace and safety."

A date for Howard's first court appearance has not yet been set, according to the B.C. Prosecution Service. Top Stories

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