RCMP crest. (Black Press Media files)

RCMP crest. (Black Press Media files)

RCMP cleared in fatal shooting of armed Lytton man in distress, police watchdog finds

IIO spoke to seven civillian witnesses and 11 police officers in coming to its decision

The province’s police watchdog has ruled that Mounties who fatally shot a man in distress while responding to a report of a suicidal man in Lytton are not at fault.

In a report released Tuesday (Oct. 20), the Independent Investigations Office of B.C. found that as the person who was shot was holding a gun and that RCMP were reasonable in using lethal force.

On Jan. 13 police responded to a report of a suicidal man and were met with a single gunshot fired over their head from the home.

According to the IIO, the Emergency Response Team (ERT) was then sent in, and one of those officers killed the man as he came out of the home with a shotgun in his hands.

The IIO spoke to seven civillian witnesses and 11 police officers in its investigation and reviewed recordings of 911 calls, police radio transmissions and records and training records and policies.

The civillian witnesses said that the man was “smoking marijuana heavily, and that both his health and his behaviour were deteriorating noticeably.”

The man was in the home with two witnesses, who told police that he had asked them to call 911 at about 7 a.m.

One of the witnesses told the IIO that she was not comfortable around the man in distress because of concerns over his mental health, as well as the shotgun he owned and comments he had made about the police.

The other witness told the IIO that the two witnesses locked themselves in the basement around 7:45 a.m. that day and called 911, telling the dispatcher the man had “kinda lost his mind and he’s got a gun… I wanna (sic) cop here.” The woman went on to tell the dispatcher that she heard the man “playing with the gun in the bedroom.”

When the dispatcher asked if the distressed man was a danger to others, the witness said “he’s never hurt a soul… he’s just losing it up there and I’m scared right now.”

Two police officers arrived at the house at 8:12 a.m. IIO said that the distressed man shouted at them from an upstairs bedroom and then fired a shotgun above and to the side of their heads. The officer called for ERT, telling dispatch the man had been heard shouting that he would only come out “when there’s one hundred cops” here.

Around 10:25 a.m., the two witnesses left the house. Shortly after their departure, the distressed man had called 911 and stated he would be leaving the home in about four hours and made comments about a police shooting.

Police crisis negotiators spoke to the distressed man and confirmed his earlier statements.

The man in distress walked out of the house at 2:05 p.m. and an officer saw him grab a shotgun in what he called a “position where he could quickly take aim and shoot.”

The same officer officer shot what ended up being a defective round, but another officer shot and killed the man.

Paramedics attempted to revive him but were unsuccessful. The gun the man had was found to have been loaded and the safety was off.

He was found to have 0.011 milligrams per litre of THC (the psychoactive compound in cannabis) in his system. The legal limit for driving in B.C. is 2 nannograms per millilitre, which is 0.002 mg/L.

ALSO READ: IIO probes shooting after officer pepper-sprayed, assaulted outside Abbotsford Cabela’s

If you feel like you are in crisis or are considering suicide, please call the Crisis Centre BC suicide hotline at 1-800-784-2433.

Other resources include: Canada Suicide Prevention Service at Toll free: 1-833-456-4566. You can also text 45645 or visit the online chat service at crisisservicescanada.ca.

Some warning signs include suicidal thoughts, anger, recklessness, mood changes, anxiety, lack of purpose, helplessness and substance abuse.


@katslepian

katya.slepian@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism during the pandemic? Make a donation here.

Police

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)
Interior Health reports 70 new cases overnight

The total number of cases in the region is now at 1,426

This dark blue 2004 Ford 350 truck (with winches and a headache rack) was stolen from a property on Lodgepole Road in Barriere anywhere between the time of 2 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 23. (Myram Facebook photo)
Truck stolen in Barriere last Monday – information sought

“Too much theft going on and no repercussions” says local

An animal at large, such as a dog running elsewhere than on the property of its owner, is one of many restrictions under the District of Clearwater's animal control bylaw. (Pixabay)
Facebook post causes stir around animal control

A resolution passed at the Nov. 3 District of Clearwater regular council… Continue reading

Masks are now officially mandatory in all City of Campbell River facilities. (Black Press File Photo)
Interior Health reports 49 new COVID-19 cases overnight

302 cases remain active; two in hospital

File photo
Investigation of break-and-enter on-going

Submitted by Sgt. G.D. Simpson November 21 Clearwater RCMP received a call… Continue reading

A man wearing a face mask to help curb the spread of COVID-19 walks in downtown Vancouver, B.C., Sunday, Nov. 22, 2020. The use of masks is mandatory in indoor public and retail spaces in the province. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. records deadliest day of pandemic with 13 deaths, 738 new COVID-19 cases

Number of people in hospital is nearing 300, while total cases near 30,000

People wear face masks as they pose next to a Christmas display in Montreal, Sunday, November 22, 2020, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues in Canada and around the world. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
How to tell family their Christmas gathering is too risky and you’re not going

Dr. Hurst says it’s best to frame the conversation from a place of care, stressing safety precautions.

Keanu Reeves in “The Matrix.”
Free ‘Hollywood Suite’ movies in December include ‘Keanussance’ titles starring Keanu Reeves

Also featured is the Israeli-made ‘Valley of Tears,’ a 10-part war drama

FILE - This May 4, 2020, file photo provided by the University of Maryland School of Medicine, shows the first patient enrolled in Pfizer's COVID-19 coronavirus vaccine clinical trial at the University of Maryland School of Medicine in Baltimore.  Pfizer announced Wednesday, Nov. 18, 2020, more results in its ongoing coronavirus vaccine study that suggest the shots are 95% effective a month after the first dose. (Courtesy of University of Maryland School of Medicine via AP, File)
VIDEO: B.C. planning for the rollout of COVID-19 vaccines in the first weeks of 2021

The question of who will get the vaccine first relies on Canada’s ethical framework

This undated photo issued by the University of Oxford shows of vial of coronavirus vaccine developed by AstraZeneca and Oxford University, in Oxford, England. (University of Oxford/John Cairns via AP)
Canada can make vaccines, just not the ones leading the COVID-19 race

Canada has spent more than $1 billion to pre-order seven different developing COVID-19 vaccines

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

British Columbia Premier John Horgan speaks during an announcement about a new regional cancer centre in Surrey, B.C., on Thursday, Aug. 6, 2020. Horgan is set to introduce his NDP government’s new cabinet Thursday. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Horgan’s NDP cabinet built to tackle pandemic, economic recovery, says former premier

Seven former NDP cabinet ministers didn’t seek re-election, creating vacancies in several high-profile portfolios

The COVID-19 test centre at Peace Arch Hospital is located on the building’s south side. (Tracy Holmes photo)
B.C. woman calls for consistency in COVID-19 post-test messaging

‘Could we just get one thing straight?’ asks Surrey’s Deb Antifaev

(File photo)
Alberta woman charged after allegedly hitting boy with watermelon at Okanagan campsite

Police say a disagreement among friends at an Adams Lake campsite turned ugly

Most Read