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Man left Cowichan hospital hours before chase, shooting incident

Cochrane treated in the morning, chase began after dark
The investigation is still ongoing at Evans Park following police chasing a man driving a mini-loader that ended in a shooting March 28, 2023. (Sarah Simpson/Citizen)

As of Monday, April 3, 31-year-old Davin Cochrane remains in a medically induced coma at Victoria General Hospital as a result of being shot twice in the head by police on March 28.

Cochrane had been in a car accident earlier that day and got treated at Cowichan District Hospital. It wasn’t until that evening, after dark, that he allegedly stole a skid steer loader from a Keystone Drive property, drove it around a North Cowichan neighbhourhood and ultimately wouldn’t yield to police before he was shot.

Questions about how Cochrane was able to leave the Cowichan hospital prior to the theft of a piece of heavy machinery and his ultimately being shot have been generally answered by Island Health.

Cochrane is confirmed by Island Health to have received emergency department care that morning following what his fiancé said was a car crash, but was not admitted to Cowichan District Hospital, according to the health authority.

He was therefore free to leave.

Citing patient confidentiality, Island Health said in a statement they couldn’t speak to the specific case of Davin Cochrane though, “[the health authority] would like to extend our sympathies to everyone impacted during this difficult time.”

The statement, noted that “in general, patients who are not admitted under the Mental Health Act, or admitted to a secured unit, have the right to leave hospital at any time, even against medical advice. Non-admitted patients have the right to leave the emergency department at any time.”

Island Health also answered the question asked by Cochrane’s fiancé Sarah Brown about why she hadn’t been called to say he was at CDH in the first place.

Not speaking to the Cochrane case specifically, Island Health noted that “in general, when a care provider deems an adult patient to be mentally capable and the patient is not incapacitated, Island Health would not divulge information about a person to anyone, unless specifically directed to do so by the patient.”

In other words, they won’t contact a patient’s family unless they’re asked to do so.

What’s more, “hospital staff would not alert police to a person leaving the hospital unless they were being held under the Mental Health Act or if they were deemed by a medical professional to be an immediate risk to themselves or others,” according to a statement issued by Island Health.

Given Cochrane was treated and left CDH earlier in the day and the incident with police occurred in the late evening, there’s a great deal of time still unaccounted for before Cochrane ended up with the skid steer machine and ultimately being shot by police.

His whereabouts and activities during that time may be crucial in figuring out how the 31-year-old father ended up in a Victoria ICU.

Sarah Simpson

About the Author: Sarah Simpson

I started my time with Black Press Media as an intern, before joining the Citizen in the summer of 2004.
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