07/31/2012 08:30 EDT | Updated 09/30/2012 05:12 EDT

3 Arrested Following Okanagan High-Speed Chase

Kelowna RCMP say two men and one woman are in custody in the Okanagan after firing at officers and leading police on a high speed-pursuit toward Vernon.

Const. Kris Clark said the dramatic chase started just after 1:30 p.m. PT when an officer noticed a "suspicious" green Dodge Caravan in West Kelowna.

The officer began following the van in an attempt to pull it over. He told dispatch that he was shot at, and that the van had sped off.

RCMP gave chase north on Westside Road toward Vernon, at which point the suspects fired more shots at officers.

"The situation was extremely critical down Westside Road," he said. "Members' lives were in peril."

Clark said the suspects changed vehicles at least once and continued to shoot at officers.

Police forces from Kelowna, West Kelowna and Vernon, and an RCMP helicopter all worked together tracking the suspects for almost 80 kilometres.

"I can tell you that simply listening to it on the radio was a terrifying experience," Clark said.

The suspects were finally apprehended while driving a black pick-up truck near Swan Lake and Vernon.

Kelowna RCMP Supt. Bill McKinnon said two men and a woman were arrested, and the woman was taken to hospital with undetermined injuries.

He said that an investigation into the incident and the actions of his police force will take place.

"This is a complex investigation with multiple scenes. RCMP members are holding those scenes pending the arrival of an independent external police department," McKinnon said.

"I can confirm that the New West Police Department will be taking over this investigation and any questions pertaining to the investigation will have to be directed to them," he said.

Investigators are requesting that anyone who witnessed the incidents between West Kelowna and Swan Lake to contact the West Kelowna RCMP.