GOLDEN, B.C. — Police say a man suspected of shooting a Mountie in British Columbia has been found dead.
RCMP spokesman Cpl. Dan Moskaluk said the man's body was found near the southeastern B.C. community of Revelstoke on Wednesday, and the BC Coroners Service is now investigating his cause of death.
Investigators had been searching for 40-year-old Sheldon Thunderblanket since Tuesday when a female officer was shot in the arm after stopping a vehicle in a theft investigation on Highway 1.
A statement from the City of Revelstoke said the officer who was shot had undergone reconstructive surgery on her hand and arm and is recovering.
Probe launched after death
The provincial Independent Investigations Office has launched a probe to determine whether there is any connection between the officers' actions and the man's death.
The agency, which investigates all police-involved deaths or serious injuries, said in a release that officers have reported that the suspect drove away after the Mountie was shot.
"A further interaction later occurred between police and the male in the vicinity of Revelstoke, where he fled from police," the release said.
Thunderblanket faced numerous charges
The RCMP said they believe Thunderblanket was wanted for numerous charges in connection with a murder and attempted murder in Saskatchewan.
A news release from the RCMP in Saskatchewan says one person was found dead and another with serious injuries at a residence on Little Pine First Nation on Oct. 10.
It named Thunderblanket as a wanted suspect.
Dozens of officers converged on Revelstoke overnight to search for the suspect after a vehicle linked to the shooting was found in the community.
The shooting closed Highway 1 west of Golden for several hours Tuesday. Traffic was reduced to one lane for an extended period Wednesday.
Moskaluk said Wednesday evening that an area east of Revelstoke will remain closed as officers continue searching for evidence. An investigation into the call that lead to the attempted vehicle stop is also ongoing, he said.Also on HuffPost:
The Royal Canadian Mounted Police Force was created in 1873 with 150 troops. Today, the organization employs more than 28,000 people.
The officers were called the “North-West Mounted Police” until Feb. 1, 1920, when legislation merged the Mounties with other police forces across eastern Canada. They became known as the “Royal Canadian Mounted Police.”
In the 1800s, the NWMP uniform was similar to one worn by the British army.
The RCMP headquarters was originally located in Regina. It was moved to Ottawa on Feb. 1, 1920.
The ‘70s was a big decade for the RCMP. Women were first accepted as uniformed members in 1974. The period also brought an expansion to airport policing, VIP security, and drug enforcement.
Although they weren’t recognized as uniformed members, women were involved with the Mounties as early as the 1890s. The force employed women to escort female offenders, and to fill lab-research positions.
Before snowmobiles, Mounties serving in the north used dog sled patrols. Two teams with a total of 21 canines made the last official dog sled patrol in 1969.
The RCMP training academy known as “Depot” has been located in Regina since 1885.
The RCMP’s insignia — including a bison, maple leaves, and crown — hasn’t changed since 1954. The badge includes the organization's motto, “Maintiens le Droit,” which means “Defending the law.”
The bison, which has always been included in the RCMP badge, had a close association with the first Mounties who worked on the Prairies, who relied on the animal for food, fuel and clothing.
The largest RCMP detachment in Canada is in Surrey, British Columbia. Over 1,000 police officers, municipal employees, and volunteers serve a population of over 514,000 people.