Looking back over 2018, one of the biggest stories from the Cochrane area that made national news was the tragic shooting of a German tourist.
Just before noon back on August 2nd, Cochrane RCMP attended the scene of a shooting involving a 60-year old visitor from Germany while he was travelling westbound on Highway 1A with his family near the Chief Goodstoney Rodeo Centre. RCMP at the time implored the public for information on the incident that saw the man leave the highway in a Dodge Durango after being shot. While the victim was transported by STARS air ambulance to a hospital in Calgary, it was reported three other family members in the vehicle sustained minor injuries.
Corporal Troy Savinkoff shares the highly profiled case was certainly one of the largest offenses the detachment dealt with in 2018. "We brought in a significant amount of resources in the forms of Major Crimes as well as many other specialized units to investigate that offense. The investigation proceeded fairly quickly; we were able to obtain some evidence where a suspect was indicated, and we were able to lay some charges."
With the case being in front of the courts, Corporal Savinkoff says he can't go into specific details at this time. "I can't speak too much in regards to the details of the offense, but I am sure a lot of those will come up as far as disclosure in court and be spoken about in the trial themselves. But we were quite satisfied with the progress the investigation took right from the onset."
A 16-year-old male from the Stoney Nakoda Nation has been charged with 14 counts in the case including attempted murder for firing a single round into the German tourist's driver side window.
With hundreds of tips rolling in and help from Major Crimes, the Forensic Identification Section, Collision Analysts, and Police Dog Services, Corporal Savinkoff shares policing of the Cochrane area was able to carry on during the very busy time. "This is the lovely thing about the RCMP and having a national police force, policing your area; in a case like this, there is a plethora of support services and additional membership that we can bring in. In this particular case, the Cochrane detachment, meaning the small municipality detachment and the rural detachment, was able to still focus on our main goal which is to corporally police this area. The day to day members were able to continue to focus on that despite what was going on around them."
Although Savinkoff was involved in supporting the specialized units and is kept up to date with briefings and progress regarding the case, he can't speak freely about the details. "When these things happen, I am not the primary investigator so as far as the ins and outs of the investigation that belongs to the sections that come in."
"For myself, I would say while every homicide has its challenges...this one was definitely one of the more higher profile ones."
The 16-year-old suspect (now 17 years old), whom cannot be named under provisions of the Youth Criminal Justice Act, pleaded not guilty to fourteen criminal code offenses, including attempted murder, discharging a firearm with intent, and possession of a prohibited weapon back on December 11th, 2018. While he was released on bail back in November, Savinkoff could not 100% confirm if he was currently still out on bail. The German tourist has undergone two surgeries to remove the bullet and while it is still too early to tell, will hopefully make an extensive recovery.