With the police tape and investigators gone, North Cowichan staff were left to fix the fence where the police slowly chased a skid steer before shooting the driver.
On Keystone Drive, some neighbours are second-guessing themselves after a man climbed into the skid-steer Tuesday night when it was dark.
“I heard the machine across the street start and I thought that was kind of odd so I went to the window and looked out and I saw that the little machine across the street was on and the light was flashing,” said Cathy Catterall.
Catterall wondered whether the skid steer was being stolen and questioned her husband who didn’t think so. Another neighbour heard its engine revving. Both say the man was in the machine for a long time.
“When I checked again at the end of that half hour the light was off and the machine was off so I said to my husband, ‘oh okay I guess there’s nothing wrong’,” said Catterall.
Catterall says the next morning she saw the news of what happened and the machine was gone.
“I wish I had called the police when I had that gut feeling because the guy might not have gotten out of that driveway and it might not have gotten so tragic, so I do regret not calling them.”
From Keystone Drive, just blocks from Cowichan District hospital, the skid-steer travelled down Cowichan Lake Road before police got the call of a possibly impaired driver in a slow-moving skid steer.
The driver headed into Evans Park, where police shot him. The IIO is investigating.
“Did this individual pose a risk of grievous bodily harm or death to any individual such that it would’ve justified the shot or shots being taken?” said Ron MacDonald, Chief Civilian Director of the Independent Investigations Office in an interview Wednesday.
In a social media post today, Sarah Annie Brown, the fiancé of Devon Cochrane, the man who was shot, said “it feels like a nightmare… He’s my best friend… He promised me, that no matter what he would be raising our daughter and would always be there for us. ”
“I don’t have answers, I can promise you that he would never hurt anyone. He hasn’t done anything wrong since I’ve known him,” she said.
“I can only think he was trying to make it back home to us as he was scared. He has tremendously bad PTSD from past police involvement.”
His father on social media says his son’s condition has seen no change for better or worse and that his brain is fully relaxed and his organs are functioning well.