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Mountie charged after shot fired following car chase

Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press

Criminal charges have been laid against a Cranbrook, B.C., Mountie accused of firing a shot into a vehicle containing two people.

The B.C. Criminal Justice Branch says Constable Richard Drought is facing charges of intentionally discharging a firearm and being reckless to the safety of another person. The charges arise out of a probe into the Oct. 2, 2012, incident by the Independent Investigations Office.

After completing the review, IIO chief civilian director Richard Rosenthal forwarded a report to Crown counsel about the incident, which later led to the charges. The report said Constable Drought was investigating a carjacking complaint and chased a vehicle to a crashing stop on the outskirts of Cranbrook.

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"At the conclusion of a police vehicular pursuit, the officer discharged his firearm. The adult male driver sustained non-life threatening injuries," the IIO report stated.

The other occupant, a woman, wasn't hurt. Both people were arrested.

In his April, 2013, report, Mr. Rosenthal said he only forwards a report to the Crown if he considers that an officer may have committed an offence.

A statement from the B.C. Criminal Justice Branch said the charge assessment review was conducted by a senior prosecutor who does not work in the same region as the officer.

Constable Drought is due to return to court on Sept. 16. The officer is on administrative leave from his post in Cranbrook.

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