A suspect is in custody following a report of shots fired in West Trail last week.
Trail RCMP Sgt. Mike Wicentowich says the person is behind bars on “unrelated matters” and that the investigation is ongoing.
The case began to unfold just before 5 a.m. on May 1 after a call came in that a then-unknown person had fired a gun at a passenger car in the 1900 block of Oak Street.
Two occupants were in the vehicle at the time, though neither was hurt.
But the story didn’t end there.
Wicentowich revealed that two days later a man in his 30s, of no fixed address, was detained after police found him walking across the Trail driving bridge carrying a sawed-off shotgun.
The man was later released without charge.
“The 34-year-old male was not involved in the original incident and is of no danger to the public,” Wicentowich told the Trail Times May 4.
Since then the Times has received a number of inquiries as to why a person found carrying a shotgun on the main bridge in Trail was released from RCMP custody.
After all, it is illegal in Canada to carry a gun in public, let alone one that has been altered, or “sawed-off” as police described it.
Essentially, readers wanted to know why the person was let go from what is considered a criminal offence.
“Investigators have reason to believe that the 34-year-old man found in possession of the firearm was not the shooter,” Sgt. Wicentowich reiterated to the Times, May 11.
“Due to the totality of the circumstances surrounding these incidents criminal charges were not laid against the 34 year old.”
Wicentowich also said the pandemic protocols are not affecting who stays behind bars and who goes.
“COVID-19 is not a factor in the release of a prisoner,” he clarified.
“Each situation is assessed on a case-by-case basis in consultation with the BC Prosecution Service and the decision to remand a prisoner into custody or release them is ultimately up to the courts.”
Trail police do not identify suspects in their media releases until charges are officially sworn in by Crown counsel.
Witnesses to the shooting who have not yet spoken to police are urged to call the Trail detachment at 250-364-2566, or remain completely anonymous by calling Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.