Island man shot in face disappointed attacker not convicted of attempted murder
COURTENAY -- It's been three years since a Comox Valley neighbourhood went under lockdown as RCMP tracked down an armed man who was on the run. Police say they were searching for a 27-year-old suspect who had broken into several homes and ended up shooting a man in the face at point blank range.
The victim he shot has just learned what sentence the shooter has received from the courts, and says it's not nearly harsh enough for what he endured.
Robert Scott still has the vivid memories – and bullet fragments in his head – from when he was shot by an intruder in 2018.
"The bullet broke my jaw and the bullet exploded, and I have fragments all over the back of my neck," he told CTV News on Thursday.
"It broke one of my vertebrae bones. I was so close to becoming paralyzed there," he said.
It was just after midnight on March 14, 2018, when Scott found an intruder inside the laundry room of his trailer north of Courtenay. It was just one of several homes that the intruder had broken into.
Scott tried to be helpful to the man, even getting ready to give him cash and let him use his washroom.
"I didn't want to leave the guy unattended in my laundry room," he said. "So I figured if I talked to him and be nice, he could leave on his own accord. But unfortunately, he wanted to make me a victim."
"He stopped me in the kitchen, pulled a gun out," said Scott. "I figured, 'Oh I'm going to get robbed,' so I didn't say anything, didn't give him any money, didn't want to coax him into anything."
That's when Scott says the man shot him in the face and fled.
"Everything went all staticky," Scott said. "It was black. I didn't even hear the gun go off because he was so close to me."
The suspect was the subject of a police manhunt throughout the Coleman Road area and was eventually caught.
"Victim services called me today (Thursday) that the guy had gotten 14 years for assault," said Scott. "I went, 'What? He didn't get the attempted murder charge?'"
Scott says he feels strongly that the penalty should have been much stiffer. He shared his thoughts on social media earlier this week and has since received an outpouring of support, as well as stories from other people who say they've faced disappointments from the justice system.
"The Crown prosecutor phoned me up today and said, well, they did their best. The charges he got are pretty much the equivalent of attempted murder, but I feel like I've been kind of cheated," he said.