A Surrey shooter who fired eight bullets into another man has been sentenced to nine years in jail on lesser charges after being acquitted of attempted murder.
Michael Branden Anderson, 40, shot Julian Page on a residential street in Surrey on May 5, 2018. With credit for time already served, Anderson has six years, six months and 20 days left to pay on his debt to society.
Justice Karen Horsman sentenced Anderson to nine years for discharging a firearm with intent to wound, maim or disfigure, eight years for aggravated assault, and four years for possession of a restricted weapon. These are to be served concurrently, or all at the same time as opposed to one on top of another.
She acquitted him of attempted murder.
“Members of the public, including nearby residents, could easily have been injured or killed,” she noted. “At least one bullet fired by Mr. Anderson went through the wall of a neighbouring house.”
Horsman found Anderson guilty in B.C. Supreme Court in New Westminster. Page had been shot “in his lower extremities,” the judge noted. The court heard that police spotted a jeep leaving the crime scene, with Anderson in the passenger seat, and used the RCMP Air One helicopter to track the jeep to a driveway behind a tattoo shop, where Anderson was arrested.
Police searched the jeep and found a 9mm Norinco pistol, a pistol magazine and bullets in the glovebox.
“The pistol was matched through forensic analysis with spent casings and bullets that the police recovered at the scene of the shooting,” Horsman noted in her reasons for sentencing. Police obtained video evidence from the tattoo shop as well as footage from a house near the scene of the shooting.
The judge noted the tattoo parlor video showed Anderson getting into the jeep right before the shooting and the video from the shooting scene showed Page getting shot while hiding under a truck, then getting beaten after he was pulled out from underneath it.
While Horsman found, beyond a reasonable doubt, that Anderson was the shooter she was not satisfied he had specific intent to kill Page and so acquitted Anderson of attempted murder. The court heard he fired off at least 16 rounds. The judge noted Anderson has a “significant criminal history” including prior convictions for assault and aggravated assault and had been on parole when he shot Page. At the time, he’s already been banned from possessing prohibited or restriction weapons arising from a 2003 robbery conviction.
“In my view, the paramount considerations on this sentencing are denunciation, deterrence, and protection of the public. Given the gravity of the offences and the violence involved in their commission, in my view Mr. Anderson must be separated from society for a lengthy period,” Horsman said.
Earlier this month a Surrey provincial court judge delivered a similar sentence, under similar circumstances, to Daon Gordon Glasgow, 37, who shot a transit cop on the platform of the Scott Road SkyTrain station. Like Anderson, Glasgow was acquitted of attempted murder but found guilty of the lesser included offence of aggravated assault and will serve nearly eight years in prison.
Glasgow was sentenced to seven years and 301 days for discharging a firearm with intent to wound or disfigure, five years for having a loaded prohibited weapon, seven years for unlawfully discharging a firearm, seven years for aggravated assault, and a lifetime ban on possessing firearms. As in Anderson’s case, Glasgow’s sentences are concurrent, that is, to be served at the same time and not one after another.
And, like Anderson, Glasgow was no stranger to the law. He had been on mandatory release from prison on a Surrey manslaughter conviction at the time the trigger was pulled in the SkyTrain station shooting.
Constable Josh Harms, 27, was shot twice – once in his right arm, and once in his left hand – with a 9mm handgun. A surgeon removed the bullet from his arm. His hand sustained significant but not catastrophic damage and he eventually returned to duty.
Transit Police Chief Dave Jones, during a TransLink board meeting on Thursday, said of Harms “that it would be wrong to say that a tragic event like that won’t stick with him for the majority of his life, but he has a conviction registering and a sentence, these are all steps towards finality and bringing to conclusion what has happened so that he can move on even further.
“He is doing well,” Jones told the board.