“I’d like to say that I’m very sorry for what I did on that day,” he said. “It was the biggest mistake of my life and I regret it every single day.”
An Oliver man was sentenced in BC Supreme Court Tuesday for firing a .22 calibre rifle into the ceiling of his basement suite while high on methamphetamine.
Daniel Khafizov, 31, pleaded guilty in September to two firearms-related offences.
Court heard Khafizov discharged the .22 calibre rifle at 466 Road 11 in Oliver on Jan. 7, 2019, in an attempt to get rid of the voices he heard in his head. Khafizov lived in the basement suite of a three-storey building and the tenant upstairs said he heard loud bangs. “Mr. Ernst had been sitting on his sofa; he had heard some loud bangs coming from the unit below him,” prosecutor John Swanson told the court. “Then, following one of those loud bangs, he had noticed that the pillow on his sofa moved up and some feathers from that pillow came out of the pillow and then there was a hole in his ceiling,”
Ernst fled the residence and contacted police from a neighbour’s home. “The police then using a loud hailer system – called out to Mr. Khafizov to come out of the basement suite with his hands up,” Swanson said. “There was no initial response from Mr. Khafizov. The police officers then set up a perimeter that included a SWAT team with a sniper rifle in place, if necessary.
“One of the police officers went up and banged on the door. It was after that that Mr. Khafizov came out. He was fully compliant with the police officers.” Swanson told the court a search of Khafizov’s home revealed 45 spent .22 calibre casings, a box of ammunition, and a .22 calibre Winchester rifle under a futon.
“It was determined that Mr. Khafizov was suffering from auditory hallucinations at the time of the event. It was the opinion of the attending psychiatrist that Mr. Khafizov was aware of what he was doing in the sense that we was aware of the nature and the quality of the act,” Swanson said. “But there was some question of whether or not he was aware of the morale culpability of what he was doing, because he was subject to auditory hallucinations at the time.” Court heard Khafizov, who was born in Moscow, Russia, moved to Canada with his parents at the age of five years old.
He had a “normal” upbringing and earned a bachelor of commerce degree with a major in accounting, but his mental health started to deteriorate after a serious car accident on the Coquihalla in 2015. Khafizov said he didn’t start using “hard drugs” until after the accident. He became addicted to drugs after he was prescribed “fentanyl-related opioids” to cope with the pain of his injuries before experimenting with methamphetamine. “He turned, unfortunately to illicit drugs for support,” defence lawyer Michael Patterson told the court.
“That illicit drug took charge of Mr. Khafizov and the demons that accompany that sent him into drug induced psychosis.” During sentencing, Khafizov apologized for his actions.
Justice Gary Weatherill pointed out the seriousness of the offence. “You could have killed someone,” Weatherill said, to which Khafizov responded, “I know, I regret it every day.” Weatherill agreed to the joint sentencing recommendation of time served for count one and a two-year probationary order for count two.
Khafizov, who has no prior criminal record, agreed to participate in treatment for his drug addiction and mental health issues and told the court he wants to get his life back on track. He plans to complete his education to become a chartered professional accountant. “I’m optimistic about the future,” he said.
Source: Global Okanagan