Rural property owners are rallying in support of a man after he was charged for firing a weapon at two men on his property near Okotoks last month.

Edouard Maurice is charged with aggravated assault, pointing a firearm and careless use of a firearm in connection to an incident on his property on February 24.

Police say Maurice confronted two people who he found rummaging through his vehicles and shots were fired as the two suspects fled the area.

One of the suspects showed up at a hospital in the area and was treated for an injury to his arm.

Ryan Watson, 41, is charged with:

  • Trespassing by night
  • Mischief to property
  • Theft under $5,000 from motor vehicle
  • Possession of methamphetamine
  • Failure to comply

Many people in the community believe Maurice was just protecting his property and say he should not be punished.

Maurice, 33, made a brief court appearence in Okotoks on Friday and over 150 people attended a rally outside the courthouse to show their support for him.

Linda Berreth lives on a property outside of Beiseker and drove almost two hours to attend the rally.

“We’re sick of the crime,” she said. “I’m sure he wasn’t sitting there in his house thinking ‘I’m going to shoot somebody today’. Who wants to do that? Nobody wants to do that. No one, we don’t want to have to do that but we’re getting pushed into a corner where we are frightened and we’ve had enough.”

Maurice's lawyer asked for and was granted an ajournment in the case until April 6, 2018

"These are individuals who have had no interaction with the criminal justice system. This is an unfortunate and unfair position that they've been placed in," said defence lawyer, Tonii Roulston.

A second suspect has yet to be located and the investigation continues.