Officer charged over Cranbrook shooting has first court appearance

Drought faces charges of unlawfully discharging a firearm over an October 2 on-duty shooting in Cranbrook.

Court proceedings have began for a Cranbrook police officer charged over a shooting last October.

Cst. Richard Drought did not appear in person for his first court hearing in Cranbrook Provincial Court on Monday, September 16.

Drought faces charges of unlawfully discharging a firearm over an October 2 on-duty shooting in Cranbrook.

Drought is represented by Vernon lawyer Richard Hewson. A senior prosecutor from Victoria is in charge of the case for the Crown.

The court case will next be in Cranbrook court on Monday, October 21.

Cst. Drought has been charged with intentionally discharging a firearm into a motor vehicle, knowing that another person was in the motor vehicle, and of intentionally discharging a firearm while being reckless as to the life or safety of another person.

The man injured in the incident was Nickolas Bullock. According to RCMP statements at the time, a police officer was stationed at the southwest end of Cranbrook conducting a road block when he saw a suspect vehicle.

The officer tried to pull over the vehicle; when it did not stop, the officer gave chase.

That chase ended in a rural Cranbrook driveway. The officer allegedly discharged his firearm.

Bullock, 26, was allegedly injured but appeared in Cranbrook Provincial Court one week later.

The 17-year-old female occupant of the vehicle was not injured.

Civilian police watchdog the Independent Investigations Office was called in to investigate the police-involved shooting.

On April 3, the Independent Investigations Office forwarded a report to the Criminal Justice Branch, which they do only when they feel there may be grounds to lay charges.

Meanwhile, Bullock has pleaded guilty to four charges in relation to the same incident, including dangerous operation of a motor vehicle and flight from a police officer. He will be sentenced in Port Coquitlam on Tuesday, October 8.