WETASKIWIN — The pattern of bullet holes from two different guns is strong evidence that more than one man was behind the shootings of a pair of Alberta Mounties in 2012, a Crown prosecutor said Friday.
“If there was one shooter and two guns, it’s inexplicable how he’s so good with the .45 (calibre) and so bad with the .40 (calibre),” said Crown prosecutor Rodney Clark during closing arguments in the trial of Sawyer Robison, who is charged with two counts of attempted murder.
RCMP constables Sheldon Shah and Sidney Gaudette were wounded while trying to search a farmhouse near Killam, southeast of Edmonton, in February 2012. Robison and his uncle Bradford Clarke were in the house at the time. Clarke’s body was found in the home after the shooting and a standoff with police.
Court has heard that 18 shots were fired at the officers from two handguns. The defence argues that both weapons were in the hands of Clarke, who was considered an skilled marksman with either hand.
The defence notes there’s no forensic evidence — including DNA or fingerprints — that links Robison to either gun and the officers both testified that Robison was not armed when they entered the farmhouse.
But the Crown pointed out that while several bullets from the .45 found their mark, none of the shots from the .40-calibre gun were even close to the officers. He added the spent cartridges from the different guns were found in different parts of the house.
He also said at least one of the rounds from the .40 sank into the farmhouse wall at an angle that would have been hard to hit from where the uncle was standing. That suggests a second shooter standing a little further back — Robison.
Clark repeated the fact not a single bullet from the .40 hit its target, despite Clarke’s expertise with firearms.
“Consider the implausibility of him not being able to hit at least one officer with the .40,” Clark told the judge.
Clark concluded that as Robison’s uncle shot at the officers with the .45 and Robison joined in with the .40, but was further away and around a corner, impairing his aim.
Robison then gave the pistol to his uncle, who shot himself with it, while Robison fled the scene with a large-calibre rifle, body armour and camouflage material, Clarke said.
“This is not mere flight,” Clarke said. “It’s consistent with somebody who had active involvement … somebody choosing to armour himself.”
Clark also suggested Robison was hostile to police, pointing to several emails on his computer as well as a document entitled When Should Shoot a Cop?
After the shootings, Robison fled in a pickup truck. He was arrested three days later after his parents pleaded for him to turn himself in.
Defence lawyer Brian Beresh said Robison fled because of the “storm-trooper-like entry” of the Mounties into the house, and all the gunfire he witnessed.
Justice Eric Macklin was expected to deliver a verdict later Friday.