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Okanagan shoot-out suspects face more charges

cheryl wierda

Black Press

More charges have been laid against the trio accused in last summer’s shoot-out and chase, alleging they were part of a criminal organization.

Ashley Collins, 19, Michael Ellis, 39, and Shawn Wysynski, 32, were all initially charged with three counts of attempted murder and a count of robbery using a firearm following what’s been described as a one-hour, 70-kilometre chase that started in West Kelowna and ended at Swan Lake in Vernon on July 31.

The men faced additional charges of flight from police and dangerous operation of a motor vehicle.

During the alleged chase, which began when police tried to pull over a green Dodge Caravan, shots were fired from both sides and Collins was struck, police said at the time.

On Monday, the three accused were scheduled to make first appearances on new charges, some of which allege they were part of a criminal organization.

Under the law, a criminal organization is a group of three or more people whose main purpose is to commit serious offences which would likely result in a material benefit to one or more people in the group.

Collins is now charged with two counts of attempted murder for the benefit of a criminal organization, while Ellis and Wysynski face four counts.

Ellis also faces a fifth charge of attempted murder.

As well, the trio face a charge of reckless discharge of a restricted/prohibited firearm to benefit a criminal organization, five counts of robbery using a restricted or prohibited firearm and five other weapons related charges.

Ellis and Wysynski still remain charged with flight from a police officer and dangerous operation of a motor vehicle.

Their case is scheduled to return to court Jan. 3.

 

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