Special Constable Robert William Cochrane Thomas (S/2886) was raised on Peguis First Nation and served as a band constable prior to joining the RCMP on January 4, 1985.
On March 6, 1986, S/Cst. Thomas was working highway patrol with his partner near Powerview. Shortly after 1 a.m., the officers noticed a vehicle parked at a local gas station and stopped to check if either of the two occupants needed help.
After a brief conversation with the driver, the two officers turned and walked back to their car, when the driver suddenly got out of his car and shot S/Cst. Thomas in the back, killing him instantly. The other officer managed to pull his revolver and return fire, but the gunman wounded him in the wrist and chest rendering him unconscious.
46-year-old Edgar Martin Olson was out on parole for attempted murder at the time of S/Cst Thomas’s death. Olson was later convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to 25 years in prison. He died after serving 6 years.
Special Constable Robert Thomas was only 21-years-old and was buried in the United Church graveyard on Peguis First Nation.