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

(Phil McLachlan - Capital News file)
Ladysmith RCMP lays out policing priorites

Staff Sgt. Wes Olsen presented the RCMP’s priorities to Ladysmith Town Council on December 1

Maureen Thom holds a can of Suck it Cancer Pale Ale and a heart created by her son Michael ‘Chili’ Thom when he was in kindergarten. (Submitted photo)
Backcountry Brewing creates limited edition beer to fundraise for BC Cancer Foundation

Squamish based beer company Backcountry Brewing has released a limited edition batch… Continue reading

Nanaimo Ladysmith Public Schools’ staff and trustees held their annual general board meeting Dec. 2 via Microsoft Teams. (SD68 image)
Nanaimo Ladysmith school district chairperson retains role, new vice-chair chosen

Nanaimo Ladysmith Public Schools held annual general meeting Wednesday

The Chemainus Health Care Auxiliary is taking a pro-active approach and closing the thrift shop as a precautionary measure as of Saturday. (Photo by Don Bodger)
Chemainus Health Care Auxiliary Thrift Shop closing again as a precautionary measure

Second closure this year will last at least six weeks due to the COVID situation

Jon Lefebure went back to construction after losing the 2018 mayor’s post in North Cowichan to work on the Cottages On Willow. (Photo by Don Bodger)
Former North Cowichan mayor retools priorities with construction project

Fresh air a benefit and satisfaction results from building eight-unit housing complex

Motorists wait to enter a Fraser Health COVID-19 testing facility, in Surrey, B.C., on Monday, Nov. 9, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Another 694 diagnosed with COVID-19 in B.C. Thursday

Three more health care outbreaks, 12 deaths

British Columbia Health Minister Adrian Dix wears a face mask to curb the spread of COVID-19, during an announcement about a new regional cancer centre, in Surrey, B.C., on Thursday, August 6, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
PHSA bought faulty ventilators; spent money on catering, renovations: Dix

Such spending included ‘unnecessary, unbudgeted renovations’ to the authority’s headquarters in Vancouver

B.C. NDP leader John Horgan releases his election platform, Vancouver, Oct. 6, 2020, featuring COVID-19 relief payments promised for most households. (B.C. NDP photo)
Next $1.5 billion in B.C. COVID-19 cash ‘prudent,’ Horgan says

New round of paymens for household incomes up to $175,000

KIJHL games have been postponed through Dec. 31. (File photo)
KIJHL postpones all games through end of 2020

Due to provincial health orders, games up to Dec. 31 have been pushed back

Robert Riley Saunders. (File)
Former Kelowna social worker arrested for allegedly stealing from foster kids

Robert Riley Saunders was arrested in Alberta and will be brought back to B.C. to face charges

Lake Trail Middle School in Courtenay has closed again due to a threat Friday (Dec 4). File photo
Island middle school closed for the second time in a week due to threat

On Nov. 26, Lake Trail Middle School was closed for a day while a similar incident occurred.

Melissa David, of Parachutes for Pets and her dogs Hudson and Charlie are trying to raise money for a homeless shelter that will allow pets and are seen in Calgary, Alta., Thursday, Feb. 6, 2020.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
‘My only wish:’ Children asking pet charity to help their furry friends at Christmas

Parachutes for Pets says it has received 14 letters from children in the last week

Melissa Velden and her chef-husband Chris Velden, stand in their dining room at the Flying Apron Inn and Cookery in Summerville, N.S. on Friday, Nov. 20, 2020. The couple is hosting holiday parties with appropriate distancing and other COVID-19 health protocols in place at their restaurant. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan
Celebrities, Santa and Zoom part of office holiday parties being held amid COVID-19

Many will send tokens of appreciation to workers or offer time off or cash

Most Read