RCMP seeks public help as it investigates shots fired at officers

·3 min read

The RCMP continues to investigate what it deems "a very serious incident" near Ritchie last November, where fleeing suspects opened fire on two New Brunswick Public Safety peace officers.

The New Brunswick RCMP is again reaching out to the public for help during its ongoing investigation.

RCMP spokesperson Cpl. Hans Ouellette said police believe some people in the region hold information that would be helpful to the investigation.

"We have reason to believe there are people in the area who have information about the incident or the persons involved," he said. "We need those people to come forward to police or Crime Stoppers."

In releases last November and again on May 25, the RCMP described the shooting incident in detail and sought public help in its investigation.

At approximately 9:20 a.m. on Nov. 5, two peace officers in a marked black Justice and Public Safety SUV were conducting enforcement patrols on Temple Road and Highway 2 near Ritchie.

The police officers observed a small car exit Temple Road and drive the wrong way in the westbound lane of Highway 2 at a high rate of speed. The peace officers engaged their emergency equipment and pursued the car.

A passenger in the car's back seat discharged a firearm at the officer's vehicle during the pursuit, striking the passenger side window and the driver's headrest. One peace officer suffered minor injuries.

The car then turned around on the highway and was last seen driving the wrong way in the eastbound lanes of Highway 2.

The RCMP said the suspects fired the shots as the pursuing officers tried to pull up beside the fleeing vehicle.

Police describe the suspect vehicle as a small dark grey or silver four-door car and the driver as a man in his early-20s who was wearing a black ball cap and dark lensed glasses.

Ouellette said police don't have a description of the passenger or passengers in the fleeing car. He said there was definitely one passenger, possibly two.

Ouellette said the dangerous situation could have turned out much worse.

"The peace officers involved in this incident are exceptionally fortunate to not have been seriously injured, or worse. We are continuing to follow every lead to find those responsible," he said.

The New Brunswick RCMP released an image of a map outlining the suspects' route during the incident and photos showing gunshot damage to the police car's mirror and passenger window and the bullet hole in the headrest.

Oullette said the photos demonstrate the danger involved in the incident.

"If you look at the pictures, it gives me chills," he said.

Ouellette believes someone has the vital piece of information needed to find the suspects and get these dangerous people into custody.

"We need to find them," he said.

Whether it's dashcam footage from someone travelling in the area at that time or something someone saw, Ouellette said, any information would help the police investigation.

"It could be just one small detail," he said.

Ouellette said people might not realize what they saw or heard would help the investigation, but let the police know, and investigators could determine its relevance.

"It might be the missing piece of the puzzle," he said. "We want people to dig deep."

The RCMP asks anyone with information that could assist the investigation to call the Nackawic RCMP at 506-575-6200.

Information can also be provided anonymously through Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477), by downloading the secure P3 Mobile App, or by Secure Web Tips at www.crimenb.ca

Jim Dumville, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, River Valley Sun

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