BRITISH COLUMBIA

Kamloops Shooting: Kenneth Knutson Charged With Attempted Murder

12/04/2014 12:49 EST | Updated 02/03/2015 05:59 EST
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KAMLOOPS, B.C. - Four charges, including attempted murder, have been laid against a 36-year-old man accused of shooting a Mountie during a traffic stop in Kamloops, B.C.

The province's Criminal Justice Branch announced Thursday that Kenneth Knutson faces charges of attempted murder using a firearm, aggravated assault of a peace officer, possession of a firearm while prohibited, and discharging a firearm with intent to wound.

Knutson has a history with police and the courts, including a conviction in 2009 after being caught by police wearing body armour and with a loaded-and-cocked restricted weapon in his possession.

Provincial court Judge James Jardine convicted him on three criminal charges connected to the case.

In March 2002, he was charged with second-degree murder and a report in The Province newspaper later said the charge was reduced and Knutson pleaded guilty to criminal negligence causing death.

The latest allegations against Knutson stem from the Wednesday morning shooting of Cpl. Jean Michaud who stopped a vehicle in a Kamloops neighbourhood. An officer in a backup vehicle exchanged gunfire with the suspect, injuring his arm, police said.

Knutson was arrested about 12 hours by an emergency response team after an intense manhunt by police.

RCMP Cpl. Cheryl Bush said three females were also arrested during the investigation, one of whom was taken into custody on unrelated outstanding warrants.

Bush couldn't say what charges the females might face or how they were connected to the investigation.

"Cpl. Michaud remains in critical but stable condition in intensive care and is expected to undergo further surgery," she said. "The incredible amount of support being offered to Kamloops RCMP and Cpl. Michaud's family is both overwhelming and heartwarming."

Police have said the 40-year-old Michaud was shot by someone who sped off in a vehicle.

Investigators have seized the vehicle that was allegedly involved in the traffic stop from a residence associated with the suspect and it will now undergo forensic examination, Bush told reporters.

B.C.'s police watchdog said it was contacted after the arrest because of the injury to the suspect's arm, but later said it would not investigate the injury.

Kelly Kilpatrick of the Independent Investigations Office said the IIO investigates injuries that may cause disfigurement, significant loss of mobility or death.

She said staff have confirmed that the extent of the suspect's injury did not cause serious harm so the agency will not investigate the matter any further.

That means the RCMP will continue to be the sole agency investigating the shooting of Michaud, Kilpatrick said.

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