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Alberta Mountie faces five charges in connection with shooting incident

EDMONTON - An Alberta Mountie is facing several criminal charges after firing his gun at a motorist, wounding him in the shoulder, authorities said Friday.

The Alberta Serious Incident Response Team (ASIRT), a government agency that investigates police, determined there was enough evidence to arrest the officer Thursday.

Const. Jason Clace, 34, was released from custody and is to appear in court next month.

"I determined that the police officer should be charged with a number of criminal offences," ASIRT executive director Clif Purvis told reporters Friday.

He said the officer, as part of an ongoing investigation, had stopped the vehicle within the town limits of Boyle on Sept. 23, 2011. The vehicle then started moving again.

"The vehicle was moving when shots were fired," Purvis said.

"The RCMP officer discharged his police service weapon at the driver ... the driver sustained injuries after having been shot in the shoulder."

There were other people in the car but they were not injured, said Purvis. He did not know whether the 22-year-old driver was also charged with any offences. The man was taken to hospital and given medical treatment.

Purvis said he could not provide more details about the shooting because the matter is now before the courts.

Court documents list the wounded man as Luke Huppie. He faces various charges, including four traffic offences that occurred the same day of the shooting: driving while unauthorized, driving without insurance, operating an unregistered motor vehicle and displaying an unauthorized licence plate.

RCMP say Clace, a member of the Boyle detachment north of Edmonton, has been with the force for about four years.

He was placed on administrative duties following the shooting. Now that he has been charged, his status is under review, said Assistant Commissioner Marianne Ryan.

"The RCMP takes this matter very seriously," Ryan said.

"We respect the ASIRT process and the results of the ASIRT investigation. But we also must respect the criminal process and we will await the results of that process."

Clace faces five charges: aggravated assault, reckless discharge of a firearm, use of a firearm while committing an indictable offence, careless use of a firearm, and discharging a firearm with intent to wound, maim or disfigure.

He appears in Boyle provincial court on Dec. 11 to answer the charges.


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