At a Nanaimo courthouse on Thursday, 22-year-old Inderpal Aujla was sentenced to seven years in prison, almost three years after he was involved in a drive-by shooting then led police on a chase from Nanaimo to Duncan.

“The case law refers to an attempted murderer as a lucky murderer and so that’s what we have here,” said Crown Counsel Nick Barber. “Somebody who intended to kill and was lucky in the sense that it wasn’t carried out in a way that ended with somebody’s life ending.”

Court heard in March of 2016, Aujla was behind the wheel while he and another man sat waiting on a Nanaimo street.

When a car parked, they drove by and fired nine shots. Several bullets hit the vehicle.

The car wasn’t being driven by their intended victim but a VIU student. Luckily, he escaped the gunfire unhurt.

“It’s unclear to the Crown still at this time if he [Aulja] was the driver or the shooter at the time of the shooting but he was the driver during the police chase,” said Barber.

Soon after police spotted the suspect vehicle in Cedar and a police pursuit ensued.

Aujla rammed a police car, injuring two officers, including an officer who had to be airlifted to hospital with a broken back.

The police chase ended on Coronation Street in Duncan where police arrested the pair.

His lawyer says Aujla was impressionable when he made a dumb, stupid decision that day.

“He also has no criminal record so he comes to court without that and he expressed a great deal of remorse and took responsibility by pleading guilty,” said Paul Dutt, Aujla’s lawyer.

In a joint submission prosecution and defence lawyers said, based on similar cases, Aujla should serve seven years in prison. The judge agreed.

In addition, Aujla will also have to submit his DNA and was issued a lifetime firearms prohibition.

His co-accused, 21-year-old Armaan Chandi, was also arrested in Duncan following the chase. He pleaded not guilty to similar charges and following a two-week trial in January will learn the Supreme Court justice’s decision next week.

Kendall Hanson