No charges against Sask. property owner who fired gun in air during break and enter: RCMP

As tensions in the province continue to simmer, RCMP said the police agency has heard and understands the public’s concerns around crime

Dave Deibert, Saskatoon StarPhoenix
Dave Deibert, Saskatoon StarPhoenix

A property owner near Spiritwood will not be charged after firing a gun into the air during an early-morning break-in.

No injuries were reported in connection with the incident, which took place Tuesday around 12:30 a.m. A white-coloured 2017 Ford F350 that was reported missing from the property after the incident was found on Tuesday around 7:30 p.m. in Debden, RCMP said on Wednesday in a news release.

At the time the truck was recovered, one woman and two men were arrested without incident. No charges were immediately laid against the three people, RCMP said Wednesday in an updated statement. The investigation is continuing.

Prior to the arrests in Debden, Ronald Joseph, 28, of Big River First Nation, was taken into custody and charged with possession of a weapon for a purpose dangerous to the public, unauthorized possession of a firearm, break and enter, possession of property obtained by crime, operation of a motor vehicle while disqualified, and three counts of theft of a motor vehicle.

The man initially taken into custody — Joseph — “did not discharge a firearm,” police said at the time.

RCMP on Wednesday said no charges will be laid in connection with the firing of the gun, prompting RCMP to say “(as) such, we are now in a position to confirm that the property owner discharged a firearm into the air yesterday morning in relation to the break and enter complaint.

“We want to remind the public that introducing a firearm or other weapon into a situation can be very dangerous. Our message around safety has not changed. Please secure the safety of yourself and your family, call 911 and pay attention/observe all details if you are able. If you can avoid a confrontation, please do so.”

RCMP in a statement said the police agency has “heard and understand the public’s concerns around crime.” The police agency has scheduled around 90 town-hall meetings, some of which have already been held, as part of a broad outreach strategy to address rural crime concerns in the province.

The RCMP told the Saskatoon StarPhoenix recently that the meetings were not called in response to worry and unrest following the shooting death of Colten Boushie, or the subsequent trial and acquittal of Gerald Stanley, who farmed nearby.

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