Father of man shot twice in head by RCMP in Duncan speaks out
The father of a Vancouver Island man who was shot twice in the head by police during a dramatic incident in Duncan, B.C., on Tuesday evening is questioning why such lethal action had to be taken by police.
Michael Cochrane's son, 31-year-old Davin Cochrane, was operating a skid-steer loader – a type of small construction vehicle – through a residential neighbourhood and onto a nearby park field as police pursued him and later shot him.
He was taken to hospital and remains in critical condition as of Thursday.
Michael says he wants to know why RCMP felt lethal action was necessary.
"I would like to think that the RCMP have the public's best interest at heart," he told CTV News on Thursday.
"I'm not a father who is absolutely hating the police at this point. But, and there is a but, as a father I'm wondering why his son has two bullets in his head and not a single one in his body and why lethal action was used when a lower level of aggression could've been used," he said.
Davin is engaged and is the father of a newborn. A GoFundMe campaign has been set up by two of his childhood friends to support his father, who drove down to Vancouver Island from Grande Prairie, Alta., and Davin's family as the island man remains in hospital.
On Wednesday, RCMP said they received a report of a man who was seemingly impaired and driving a skid-steer loader on a residential street around 9:15 p.m. Tuesday.
As police pursued the vehicle, Mounties say there were "several collisions" between the skid-steer and RCMP cruisers.
"During the interaction that followed, one officer discharged their weapon, striking the driver," said RCMP in a release Wednesday.
The Independent Investigations Office of B.C. has been called in to review the circumstances of the police shooting, and if it was justified.
'MY BEST FRIEND'
Michael says Davin was a "beautiful young man" who was trying to provide for his family.
"He's got a brother, he's an amazing, beautiful man too, and the three of us have been working hard as a team since [their] teenhood until now to just be the best we can be given the situations we're given."
In addition to his newly born daughter, Davin is a stepfather who loves all his children equally, Michael says.
Before the incident Tuesday, Michael says his son was involved in a crash and wound up in hospital.
He believes Davin was "under the influence" when the crash occurred and suffered a broken leg. He was awaiting surgery in hospital when he decided to leave early Tuesday.
The 31-year-old had a history of mental health and addictions challenges, but had been clean for several years, according to his father.
"Davin doesn’t do well under an arrest procedure is the best way to put it," said Michael. "He has a flight – not fight – a flight mechanism. So he evades."
He thinks Davin entered the skid-steer because it was the closest vehicle he could find when he left the hospital and was heading home when police caught up with him Tuesday evening.
The construction vehicle is pictured. (CTV News)"He probably felt a lot of guilt, he probably felt a lot of shame, the fact that he knew he had slipped up and made mistakes in life and probably wanted to get away from that environment and used the only vehicle available at the time," said Michael.
Michael says the hospital told him no one else was injured in a crash on Mondy, when Davin broke his leg, and that because no one else was injured the hospital did not screen Davin for drugs in his system.
Michael says he believes his son was only trying to evade police when they were pursuing him, and had no intentions of hurting anyone with the skid-steer on Wednesday.
"When the RCMP surrounded Davin, my best guess – and I know my son darn well – is [he was thinking] 'I'm going to take this where they can't take their cars.' I think he tried to evade as best he could," he said.
He thinks the only times that police vehicles came into contact with the skid-steer is when RCMP attempted to stop the construction vehicle using their own.
Kiya Ball and Tiffany Kovacs, the two women who set up the GoFundMe for Davin's family, say they're shocked by what happened Wednesday.
"I feel like it never should have happened," said Kovacs. "It could've gone so many other ways. It was really uncalled for."
Ball says that Davin doesn't have a mean bone in his body. Like Michael, she doesn't think Davin aimed to hurt anyone.
She says the fundraiser will go to Michael as he takes time off work to remain by Davin, and to Davin's family.
"There will be hotel fees, food, gas, all that sort of stuff," said Ball.
"And the other part is, if Davin doesn't make it, there's funeral costs and everything else that could arise," she said. "We really don't know, so it's been really hard."
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