Suspect in Sooke 2016 drive-by shooting found not guilty on five counts

One of the suspects in a 2016 drive-by shooting in Sooke has been found not guilty of several counts related to being the gunman.

Josh Lafleur was one of two men found after a five-day chase in 2016, and had been charged with shooting Travis Twinn, who sustained serious injuries and Gordon Thomas, who sustained minor injuries. Justice Frits Verhoeven found the evidence for Lafleur being the gunman to be insufficient.

Thomas spent one day in hospital, Twinn spent two weeks in hospital and neither died from their injuries.

“Gordon Thomas suffered a bullet wound to his left upper arm...He was treated at the hospital where the wounds were dressed. He was given pain medication and antibiotics and was discharged on June 15, 2016,” Verhoeven’s ruling states.

“Travis Twinn suffered a significant bullet wound to his abdomen that entered in his left flank and exited from the right chest wall…He required immediate surgery, including surgical repair of his kidney, bowels, colon, stomach and liver. He was in the hospital until June 28, 2016. Upon his release, his continued treatment included the use of a colostomy bag for several months.”

Lafleur was found guilty on counts of possessing a gun and controlled substances on the day of his capture, as well as knowingly occupying a vehicle with a restricted firearm the day of the shooting.

“There is no possible basis for Lafleur believing that he held a licence and registration certificate. On all of the evidence, I have no hesitation inferring that Lafleur knew he did not have a license or registration certificate for either weapon,” Verhoeven’s ruling states.

“I have found that possession of the drugs was actual and personal by Lafleur. Therefore, Lafleur possessed the drugs for the purposes of trafficking. Alternatively, the drugs were held jointly by Lafleur and Medwedrich, as Lafleur knew of the drugs in the bag, and even on Medwedrich’s evidence, the drugs were for their joint use.”

The judge found the evidence for Lafleur being the shooter to be questionable, due to eye witnesses testifying they saw the gun pointed out the driver’s window, and the driver, Damien Medwedrich, testifying he was responsible for the shooting.

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