One suspect dead, one arrested after car chase

June 10, 2024, 9:18 am
Kevin Weedmark

Car thieves left a trail of destruction across southeast Saskatchewan and southern Manitoba Tuesday and Wednesday. Top left an abandoned truck set on fire near Whitewood, top right Whitewood Fire Department fighting the blaze, lower left the vehicle in which one suspect was shot dead, below right, a shot up Winnipeg Police Service vehicle involved in the chase.

One suspect is dead and one is in custody facing five charges after a police chase across southern Saskatchewan and Manitoba Tuesday and Wednesday.

The chase started in southeast Saskatchewan and the high-speed chase went right through Moosomin Tuesday evening, and two police cars ended up colliding south of Moosomin.

The suspects continued into Manitoba, where Winnipeg City Police and RCMP pursued them.

One suspect, Tristan Mariash, was shot dead by police around 3 am Wednesday in Niverville and another, David Burling, fled that scene and was arrested at 1:30 pm Wednesday in Springside, Saskatchewan.

Burling is charged with two counts of Assault Against a Peace Officer with a Weapon, Possession of Property Obtained by Crime Over $5,000, Failure to Stop, and Dangerous Operation of a Motor Vehicle.

A woman was arrested with Burling and has been released without charges.

The timeline covers two days and two provinces.

On Tuesday, June 4, 2024 at approximately 8:10 am, Moosomin RCMP received a report of a suspicious vehicle at a rural property outside of Moosomin.

It was reported that a dark grey pick-up truck and a white pick-up truck were on the property. When the owner approached them, they fled. Officers from Moosomin and Broadview RCMP began working to locate the suspicious trucks.

Officers located the white pickup truck several times in the following hours. They activated their lights and sirens and the vehicle fled at a high rate of speed.

The white pick-up truck was later located abandoned near Whitewood, Sask. Investigation determined the suspects were now travelling in a black Ford F-350. The dark grey pick-up truck had since been recovered in the Melville detachment area.

Multiple Saskatchewan Crime Watch Advisories were issued throughout June 4, asking members of the public to report sightings of the vehicles and information on their whereabouts. Numerous RCMP officers were involved in the efforts to locate the suspect vehicle.

The suspect vehicle sped through Moosomin Tuesday evening, dodging vehicles and people as it sped south on Cook Road, and south of Moosomin two police vehicles collided, resulting in damage to the vehicles but no serious injuries to the officers inside.

During the evening of June 4, investigators determined the suspect vehicle had travelled into Manitoba. Efforts to locate the vehicle were ongoing but police were not actively pursuing it at the time. Manitoba RCMP werealerted.

On Wednesday, June 5, at 12:40 am, the Winnipeg Police Service received information through the RCMP Telecoms regarding a Black Ford 350 reported stolen from a rural Manitoba municipality southwest of Winnipeg. Information was also provided that the vehicle, occupied by several potentially armed individuals involved in prior criminal activity, was making its way to Winnipeg.

At approximately 12:50 am, a West District General Patrol Unit observed the stolen vehicle near Ness Avenue and Linwood Street in Winnipeg.

Officers immediately requested assistance from the Flight Operations Unit (Air 1), which quickly acquired the stolen vehicle and provided visual containment information on the vehicle and its occupants.

A lengthy follow ensued, lasting approximately one hour, with Air 1 guiding Winnipeg police to a parking lot on College Crescent in Otterburne, Manitoba. As the police entered the parking lot, their cruiser was rammed by the stolen vehicle. Officers immediately engaged the suspects, resulting in a use of force incident involving the officers discharging their firearms. The suspects fled the parking lot.

Air 1 continued to contain the vehicle visually and followed it to a parking lot on Drovers Run in Niverville, Manitoba. Air 1 observed the driver exit the stolen vehicle, enter another vehicle, and flee the area. An adult female passenger attempted to flee on foot, however, responding RCMP officers quickly placed her under arrest.

Winnipeg Police Service officers checked the abandoned stolen truck and located an adult male passenger suffering from a gunshot wound.

Officers provided emergency medical care to the victim before the arrival of ambulance, however, he succumbed to his injuries.

This death is classed as an officer-involved shooting and is being investigated.

David Burling fled from the scene of this incident.

Later on the morning of June 5, the investigation determined he was in Saskatchewan RCMP jurisdiction.

Multiple Saskatchewan RCMP detachments and units began working extensively to locate him, supported by the Protection and Response Team from the Province of Saskatchewan, CN Police and Saskatoon Police Service’s Air Support Unit.

Multiple updates were sent to the media, posted on Saskatchewan RCMP social media channels and sent via the Saskatchewan Crime Watch Advisory network as investigators received information about the potential location of the suspect and suspect vehicle.

Updates were posted on the World-Spectator’s social media channels and website, with the World-Spectator being the first media outlet to link the death in Niverville with the chase and thefts in Saskatchewan. That post was seen by more than 150,000 people.

As it was unfolding, the incident was continually monitored by RCMP for public safety concerns.

David Frank Burling was arrested at Springside, Saskatchewan at approximately 1:30 pm Wednesday. Manitoba RCMP have now charged him.

Burling is charged with two counts of Assault Against a Peace Officer with Weapon, Possession of Property Obtained by Crime Over $5,000, Fail to Stop, and Dangerous Operation of a Motor Vehicle.

The truck abandonded in Niverville had been stolen from Cypress River, Manitoba two weeks ago. The dealer who sold the truck has access to information through the Ford Pass app and noted that the thieves put 6,079 km on the vehicle from the time it was stolen to the time it was abandoned at Niverville.

Saskatchewan RCMP’s Broadview detachment and Regina General Investigation Section continue to investigate the incidents in Saskatchewan RCMP jurisdiction.

The investigation is active and ongoing; no charges have been laid on the Saskatchewan side as of Friday afternoon.

“There is much more work to do on this investigation,” said Superintendent Rob Lasson, Acting Criminal Operations Officer for the Manitoba RCMP.

“This was a multi-agency, multi-jurisdictional event that was complex and had many moving parts, and all of those involved worked together toward the same goals—keeping citizens safe and getting the suspect in custody.”

Violent history
Burling has a history of fleeing from police.

In 2020, he was sentenced to just under two years on charges that also included another flight from police, this time in the Crystal City area.

“I look at your criminal record, and ... it’s been a one-man crime wave, really, for two years,” Manitoba Judge Heather Pullan told Burling during his May 2020 sentencing hearing.

“It’s your responsibility, sir, together with whomever’s out there supporting you, to see whatever it is that’s driving this behaviour on your part,” she said.

Pullan also said protecting the public is a fundamental principle in sentencing.

“And as a justice system, we are doing a terrible job here,” she said.

Again in 2022 Burling was back in court on similar charges.

Burning walked out of jail several months ago, fresh off a two-and-a-half year sentence that included a years-long driving ban on those charges, following a June 2022 police pursuit in Portage la Prairie in which he tried to run down police officers.

During sentencing for that incident, Manitoba provincial court Judge Jean McBride warned Burling to change his ways.

“It’s my hope . . . Mr. Burling, that this is the very last time that you put yourself and others at risk by . . . not only stealing motor vehicles, but by fleeing from police and then driving dangerous. You do not have the right to do that,” McBride told him.

“If this has not been a wake-up call for you, I don’t know what is or what will be. And if it happens again, there’s no question you’d be looking at a much longer jail sentence.”