Two men have been charged with attempted murder, and a string of other offenses, after a drive-by shooting attempt in Nanaimo led to a wild chase down the Island Highway to Duncan, where the pair was finally arrested.
RCMP from three detachments were involved in the chase, and by the time the suspects were in custody four police vehicles had been damaged and four officers injured – one of them having to be helivaced to Vancouver.
None of the injuries to officers was life-threatening.
Aamaan Singh Chandi, 18, of Surrey and Inderpal Singh Aujla, 19, of Mission are suspected of having fired shots at a vehicle on Wakesiah Ave. near Second Street shortly before 4 p.m.
“They fired multiple shots into the vehicle, struck another vehicle and also struck a house,” said Cst. Gary O’Brien, Nanaimo RCMP spokesperson. The lone occupant of the targeted vehicle was not injured.
Two of the injured officers were from the Ladysmith Detachment Commander Staff Sgt. Ken Brissard told the Chronicle, but one was back on duty next day and the other was expected back shortly. Two Ladysmith detachment vehicles were damaged – one here and one in Duncan – “when the suspects rammed them.”
One person, who happened to be stopped at the intersection of Highway 1 and First Ave. in Ladysmith, said people were shocked when the chase flew by in the southbound lane, heading into the Esplanade.
Moments later an unmarked police car, trying to enter the highway and join the pursuit from First Ave., lost control and slammed into a street light standard. The passenger in that vehicle was helivaced to Vancouver.
Duncan RCMP were unable to deploy a spike belt near Drinkwater Road due to heavy traffic, but the fleeing car was eventually stopped and the two suspects taken into custody without incident at about 5 p.m.
Chandi and Aujla have been remanded in custody and are scheduled to appear in court March 11.
Charges include: dangerous operation of a motor vehicle; failure to stop for police; discharge of a firearm while being reckless; and attempted murder.