Arrest made in shooting of RCMP officer in Kamloops

The RCMP has identified Cpl. J.R. Michaud as the officer shot; The suspect has been identified as Kenneth Michael Knutson.

Cpl. Jean Rene Michaud

UPDATE: 3:30 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 4, 2014

36-year-old Kenneth Michael Knutson has been charged with four counts in relation to Wednesday’s shooting in Kamloops, B.C., which critically injured RCMP Cpl. Jean Rene Michaud during an attempted traffic stop.

According to newspaper Kamloops This Week, the charges include attempted murder and aggravated assault of a peace officer, and Knutson has a lengthy criminal record.

“The 36-year-old Knutson was convicted in 2009 of three firearms charges after being found by police with a loaded, restricted handgun while wearing body armour,” says This Week‘s Tim Petruk, adding that Knutson served two years in a federal penitentiary.

“Knutson was also charged with second-degree murder in 2002, but later pleaded guilty to one count of criminal negligence causing death after the charge was reduced to manslaughter.

“That death involved a firearm. At the time, Knutson was on probation for assaulting a police officer in 2001.”

On Wednesday, after Knutson was arrested in Kamloops’s Batchelor Heights area where the shooting took place, RCMP Supt. Brad Mueller said the suspect “is known to police and certainly has previous policy involvement.”

During yesterday’s incident – which occurred at 2:45 a.m. – the suspect was reportedly shot in the arm while exchanging gunfire with a backup officer, after Michaud had been shot.

A manhunt ensued for hours in the city, while police were searching for the occupants of a 1998 Chrysler Intrepid.

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Arrest made in connection with Kamloops shooting

One man has been arrested and an RCMP officer remains in critical but stable condition, following an early-morning exchange of gunfire in Kamloops, B.C.

RCMP Supt. Brad Mueller confirmed in an afternoon press conference that police have arrested a 36-year-old male, who was taken into custody without incident by an emergency response team.

He was arrested at approximately 3:30 p.m. on Wednesday.

“We’re confident that we have made the necessary arrest in this incident,” Supt. Mueller said. “The subject is known to police and certainly has previous police involvement.”

The suspect’s name was not released and Mueller said no charges have yet been laid.

“Our investigation will continue, so we cannot say when that announcement will be made.”

Mueller said the arrest was made outside a residence in the Batchelor Heights area of Kamloops on Wednesday afternoon.

He said he could not comment on whether or not a weapon was uncovered during the arrest, and said the investigation is still ongoing.

Mueller called the incident “a sobering reminder of the dangers police officers face every day.”

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Officer Identified

Cpl. Jean Rene (J.R.) Michaud, a 40-year-old male with 13 years experience with the force, was shot at 2:45 a.m. this morning in Kamloops at the intersection of Batchelor Drive and North River Drive during an attempted traffic stop.

The RCMP said Michaud was shot while approaching the suspect vehicle. Officers had been travelling in a “fully marked RCMP vehicle,” police said.

The suspect(s) escaped the incident after exchanging gunfire with a backup officer. Michaud underwent emergency surgery at Kamloops’s Royal Inland Hospital.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with our colleague, his wife, young children and the rest of his family,” said Mueller, in a release issued earlier Wednesday.

An intensive search followed in the area and several suspects were identified in connection with this event, Cpl. Cheryl Bush said in a 3:40 p.m. press release.

Police had asked for the public’s help in locating a 1998, four-door Chrysler Intrepid with B.C. licence plate AF7 65A.

“The Kamloops RCMP have completed some evacuations of the affected area for public safety reasons and continue to work with residents for their safe egress from the area,” Bush said.

Police say access to the Batchelor Heights area has been re-opened to the public, but that there will be continued police presence in the area while the RCMP conducts searches for “evidentiary purposes”.

**********

Kamloops This Week reports that it had been 19,161 days (dating back to 1962) since an officer was last shot in Kamloops, when a man named George Booth shot and killed 25-year-old constable Elwood Keck, and also shot 23-year-old constables Gordon Pedersen and Donald Weisgarber.

Chrysler Intrepid

(Photo: The RCMP released this photo of a Chrysler Intrepid, the same model they are searching for)

MAP/PHOTO: Intersection of Batchelor Drive and North River Drive in Kamloops, B.C.

Photo of Kamloops intersection

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