Final witness in case against accused Westside Road shooter

The case against the man charged with attempted murder following a wild 2012 police chase and shootout on Westside Road has been put to bed.

The case against the man charged with attempted murder following a wild 2012 police chase and shootout on Westside Road has been put to bed.

Crown counsel Duncan MacLeod called upon expert firearms witness Robert Caunt, in the last day of his case against Michael Ellis.

Caunt, who has testified in the same capacity at numerous trials and worked extensively with the Vancouver Police, was asked to review a six-page document he created after examining the weaponry and bullets collected in the aftermath of the shootout.

As he traced the steps he took years earlier, Caunt told the court details about the numerous bullets, their casings and twisted bits of metal that he inspected.

The story of those bullets has been largely laid out in previous testimony offered over the five weeks of trial.

They were let loose on at least one civilian and several police officers on the route taken from Mt. Boucherie Road, to the Swan Lake side of Westside Road. The bullets’ final resting places were on roadsides and rammed into car parts. The casings were found, among other places, on the floors of vehicles alleged to have been stolen by the accused and his two accomplices as they tried to flee from police.

The number of weapons that were found and the state they were in, however, offered more questions about what Ellis and his accomplices were up to when they were intercepted by police in July of 2012.

Caunt found each of the weapons in evidence to be prohibited, largely because they had been altered in some rudimentary fashion.

First among the arsenal of guns he spoke about was a semiautomatic rifle, with its barrel and butt cut down.

The barrel should have been around 323 mm, but it was sawed off at the 78 mm mark, impacting its accuracy.

“It could fire as fast as you can pull the trigger,” said Caunt.

He also found a five shot revolver that also had the barrel cut down.

Its trigger was heavy, but it too could have been fired as fast as it took to squeeze off each round.

Another weapon believed to be used that day was a Ruger, model 122, carbine.

This semiautomatic weapon had its barrell cut down to 319 mm from its original 470 mm. It also had an after-market stock attached.

The piece that would traditionally rest on its user’s shoulder could fold down, allowing it to be fired one-handed.

Lastly, Caunt pointed to a poorly constructed supressor. Aimed at muffling sound, it was a glass jar stuffed with terry cloth that had been twisted and shoved into the cylinder. Black tape surrounded it all, and there was space for the gun barrel to fit inside.

The device was “crude” and “detrimental to accuracy,” said Caunt, but it would not have reduced the dangers the gun posed.

Each of the weapons entered into evidence were powerful enough, he told the court, to cause bodily harm and or death.

Ellis, 41, is facing numerous charges, among which are five counts of attempted murder.  Shawn Adam Wysynski, 34, and Ashley Collins, then 19, have already confessed to being accomplices in the crime spree.

Ellis’s defence has not yet indicated whether he’ll bring forth witnesses now that Crown has wrapped up its case.

As is, it’s expected there will be a slight adjournment before the defence portion gets underway.

Just Posted

Missing Kelowna woman found

Christine Olsen-Meissnitzer has been located

More than $270,000 raised for Kelowna-based hospice

10th Swinging with the Stars fundraiser for the Central Okanagan Hospice Assoc. is a big success

Former Kelowna councillor and radio talk show host Barrie Clark dies

Clark remembered as a fair-minded ‘statesman’ who saw the big picture when it came to Kelowna

Getting into the swing of spring

Kelowna garden shop is busy now that spring has finally arrived

Axe the tax says Kelowna city council

City says it wants B.C.’s Speculation Tax dumped because it could have a significant impact here

Old timbers grace new Timmy’s

The newest Tim Hortons just outside of Oliver was officially opened Saturday

Proposed gun bill attacked by gun owners and shooting victims

The federal government tabled the bill today in order to tighten the sale and tracking of firearms

New anti-radicalization centre in the works for B.C.

Centre aims to help ‘vulnerable individuals of the path to radicalization’ before they turn to crime

B.C. bravery, public service honoured by Governor General Julie Payette

UVic basketball coach Kathryn Shields inducted into Order of Canada

Sea lion with rope wrapped around neck saved by Vancouver Aquarium

Steller sea lions are a species of special concern and some populations are endangered in parts of Alaska

50-million-year-old fossil found in B.C. town makes history

Paleontologist Dr. Bruce Archibald says Princeton, B.C. is becoming famous for giving up rare fossils

Shephard to don Maple Leaf Down Under

Former KSS Owl and current UBC Thunderbird to play for Canada at Commonwealth Games

VIDEO: Dashcam records near-miss by bad driver

Speeding pickup truck shown illegally passing on highway shoulder

How to keep local news visible in your Facebook feed

Facebook has changed the news feed to emphasize personal connections. You might see less news.

Most Read