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Vanderhoof RCMP detachment ‘heroes’ receive bravery awards for Nov.2021 shooting incident

Officers and staff members received the Commanding Officer’s Citation on May 29 in Prince George

In a ceremony held in Prince George this week, officers, support units, public servant staff, and a cell block guard from the Vanderhoof RCMP were recognized with bravery awards stemming from a harrowing shooting event that took place in November 2021.

The shooting incident unfolded in Vanderhoof on Nov. 25, 2021 when a man opened fire several times at police cruisers and at the walls and windows of the Vanderhoof RCMP detachment on Columbia street from different locations before leaving in a pickup truck.

The shooting sparked an emergency alert, urging residents to stay inside and lock their doors. Following a brief pursuit, the shooter was arrested outside Kal Tire store. The man, Paul Nicholas Russell, was arrested, charged and later sentenced by the court in June 2023. He was found guilty of weapons offences, fleeing from police and mischief causing danger to life in connection to a daylight shooting at an RCMP detachment, but acquitted of the charge of attempted murder.

READ MORE: Man who opened fire at Vanderhoof RCMP detachment found not guilty of attempted murder

Officers, support units, public servant staff, and a cell block guard from Vanderhoof RCMP were honoured with the Commanding Officer’s Citation for their actions during and in the months following the shooting that occurred in Vanderhoof .

Among those honored at the ceremony held for the North District RCMP on May 29, were Sgt. Kyle Ushock, Cpl. J.R. Gohn, Shawn Stanbridge, Cst. Hayden Fehling, James Dyck, and Kathy Morin.

The Awards were presented by North District Officer in Charge, Chief Superintendent Brian Edmonds.

Explaining the significance of the Citation, North District RCMP spokesperson Jennifer Cooper said, “Those who receive the Commanding Officer’s Citation are being recognized for actions that are innovative, unique, and outside what would be expected from an experienced person or unit performing the same task. Consequences of actions of such importance they would be deemed exceptional at the provincial or regional level.”

Vanderhoof RCMP detachment commander Staff. Sgt. Kevin Day said the awards recognized the exemplary, brave actions of their employees and support units under very difficult circumstances, while recounting the events of Nov. 2021.

“I am very proud of our team here at Vanderhoof, who work diligently day in and out to protect and serve our fine community,” Day said.

About the Author: Binny Paul

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