Man sentenced to 4 1/2 years in prison in connection with Langford shooting

A 28-year-old man has been sentenced to 4 1/2 years in prison after a shooting outside the Happy Valley Market in Langford last year.

Justin Lemmen pleaded guilty in November to dangerous driving, possessing a prohibited 12-gauge shotgun with the serial number removed and being in a car knowing the prohibited shotgun was in the car.

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On Friday, provincial court Judge Parker MacCarthy accepted the Crown’s recommendation for a 4 1/2-year prison sentence for the offences. MacCarthy gave Lemmen, who was been in custody since his arrest that day, credit for 15 1/2 months of pre-trial custody. This means he must serve a further 38 1/2 months in prison.

West Shore RCMP received a report of shots fired outside the market just before 11 a.m. on April 23, 2019.

Two drivers raced off in separate cars before police could get there.

At the same time, two officers were finishing an investigation into a traffic accident at the intersection of Veterans Memorial Parkway and Kelly Road in Langford. They heard on their radios that two vehicles were speeding northbound on the parkway in a dangerous manner.

According to the Independent Investigations Office of B.C., the Mounties started their cars and activated their lights and sirens, intending to move to intercept the speeding vehicles.

The first vehicle, a Cadillac, went straight through the intersection.

Lemmen, who was behind the wheel of a Kia Optima, tried to turn right onto Kelly Road but failed to complete the turn and hit the curb of the pedestrian island. The car was lifted onto its two right wheels, then crossed into the eastbound lanes of the road, where it collided head-on with a commercial 18-wheeler truck.

The driver of the truck, which was stopped on Kelly Road, was unharmed, but Lemmen was seriously injured. He had been driving at 109 kilometres an hour, but his car slowed to 46 km/h immediately before hitting the truck. A toxicology report showed he had amphetamines, methamphetamines, ketamines, norketamines, opiates, fentanyl and norfentanyl in his system.

Police found the shotgun in his car.

The brown Cadillac DeVille was found abandoned on Leila Place in Colwood with a bullet hole through the rear driver’s side window.

At the time, West Shore RCMP spokeswoman Nancy Saggar said the shooting was targeted and isolated. Police were able to find and identify the driver of the Cadillac. He was not injured. 

The Independent Investigations Office of B.C. cleared the two officers of any wrongdoing leading up to the crash.

The IIO found both officers activated their emergency lights and sirens and paused at the stop line before entering the intersection against a red light, following protocol set out in the Emergency Vehicle Driving Regulation. The officers were heading eastbound on Kelly Road.

“Video evidence demonstrates that both officers exercised considerable caution in entering the controlled intersection,” said the IIO decision.

ldickson@timescolonist.com

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