by Dave Preston
Both men arrested Tuesday after a lengthy police chase that involved shots fired at police have had numerous run-ins with the law. One of the men allegedly assaulted a police officer but never faced trial in the matter.
The RCMP Southeast District Major Crimes Unit is in charge of the investigation into the serious incident that began in West Kelowna.
Shots were fired at police when they tried to pull over a vehicle in West Kelowna. That started a police chase that involved numerous road closures, two car jackings, more shots fired at police and finally the arrest of the two men and a woman.
RCMP announced Wednesday that the two men were Shawn Adam Wysynski, 32, and Michael Edward Ellis, 39.
The two men are being held in custody on unrelated, outstanding warrants.
Wysynski has been wanted since February 2012 for failing to comply with a probation order stemming from a file in Kelowna.
Ellis has been wanted since June 2012 for possession of a controlled substance for the purpose of trafficking (two counts) stemming from a Columbia Valley investigation.
A routine traffic stop in 2007 resulted in the arrest of Ellis in Penticton. Police stopped a Dodge Dakota pickup truck and found 180 grams of cocaine, 21 grams of crystal meth, pills believed to be ecstasy, a loaded .38 calibre revolver, a sawed-off, 12-gauge shotgun wrapped in newspaper and a loaded Luger semi-automatic handgun and ammuniton.
Ellis was charged with firearms and drug offences. At the time, he was already before the courts on a drug possession charge, a charge of dangerous operation of a motor vehicle and a charge of breach of probation.
In 2009, Ellis came face to face with police in Midway and Rock Creek.
Police recieved a tip that a vehicle reported stolen from a Surrey car lot was in Midway. When police investigated, the driver of a truck rammed a police truck and forced a cruiser off the road.
An hour later, the suspect was located in Rock Creek, where he drove head-on into a police truck. The officer inside the truck was pinned inside his vehicle and he fired his weapon several times through his windshield into the windshield of the suspect vehicle.
Ellis faced numerous charges in relation to the Midway/Rock Creek icnident, including assault of a police officer.
Suprisingly, Ellis was never tried on the charges relating to the 2009 incident in Midway and Rock Creek. In a ruling, Supreme Court Justice Mark McEwan through out the charges because it had taken too long for Ellis’ case to go to trial. Ellis was released.
Wysynski and Ellis have been remanded into custody and are scheduled to appear in Kelowna court Thursday.
RCMP said on Wednesday that the woman arrested along with the two men is 19-years-old and remains in hospital with unknown injuries.
Five RCMP officers have been placed on restricted, non-operational duties because of their involvement in Tuesday’s pursuit and shoot out. They must complete an assessment before returning to active duty.
“This assessment is done to ensure the officers’ well being and that they’re fit to return to operational police work,” said Cpl Dan Moskaluk