Abbotsford Police are reviewing the circumstances that led to an officer firing his gun at a truck being driven by a fleeing suspect Friday morning.
Const. Ian MacDonald said the incident began at about 10 a.m. when a uniformed patrol officer was driving in the 3400 block of Juniper Crescent and recognized a man with whom Abbotsford Police have had numerous previous interactions.
The man, 34-year-old Christopher Trethewey, does not live on that street, was near a grey Dodge pickup with a trailer attached that was filled with items.
MacDonald said the officer pulled over to question Trethewey, got out of his vehicle and called the man’s name. Trethewey then got in the truck and, as he was racing away, the officer fired his gun.
“He shot at the vehicle and, specifically, he shot at the (rear) tire at close range,” MacDonald said.
The officer did not pursue the truck, and then broadcast the suspect and vehicle descriptions to other officers. The Air One police helicopter was already in the sky and also became involved in trying to track down the suspect.
He was found about 45 minutes later, driving a red Ford Focus near his residence in the area of McKee Road and Cassiar Avenue. Trethewey was arrested, and police verified that he was the owner of the Focus, but did not own the truck that he had allegedly fled in.
The pickup was later found off-road on Eagle Mountain, but the trailer was no longer attached. Police were still trying to track down the trailer on Friday afternoon, as well as the owner of the truck.
A supervisor will now review the circumstances to determine whether the officer, who has been with the Abbotsford Police Department since the end of 2008, was justified in firing his gun.
Reviews are conducted anytime an officer’s gun is discharged and, depending on the circumstances, disciplinary action could follow.
Trethewey is being charged with obstructing a peace officer, dangerous operation of a motor vehicle, possession of stolen property over $5,000 and possession of break-in instruments.