An investigation is underway after a man was shot and killed by Tofino RCMP in Opitsaht. (Black Press Media file photo)

An investigation is underway after a man was shot and killed by Tofino RCMP in Opitsaht. (Black Press Media file photo)

Man shot and killed by RCMP near Tofino, police watchdog investigating

Investigation underway by Independent Investigations Office of British Columbia.

The Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation is mourning the loss of 28 year-old Julian Jones, who was shot and killed by police on Saturday, Feb. 27.

A statement released by the BC RCMP on Feb. 28 says two Tofino RCMP officers arrived at an Opitsaht residence around 9:30 p.m. searching for a woman they believed to be in distress.

“When they arrived an interaction took place and one male was shot and another was taken into custody,” the statement reads adding that one man remains in police custody.

An investigation into the shooting has been launched by the Independent Investigations Office of British Columbia and the Vancouver Island General Investigative Section is investigating the report that brought police to the residence searching for a woman allegedly being held against her will.

Anyone with information related to the shooting should immediately call the IIO witness line at 1-855-446-8477.

Police say no one else was injured in the incident and that the woman was located and taken to hospital for medical assessment.

Opitsaht is a Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation community located on Meares Island, roughly two kilometres from Tofino.

Jones is the second Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation member to be shot and killed by police within the past nine months. In June of last year, 26 year-old Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation woman Chantel Moore was fatally shot by a police officer conducting a wellness check at her New Brunswick home.

READ MORE: VIDEO: Names of Chantel Moore and George Floyd ring through Ucluelet anti-racism protest

“There’s a lot of anger,” Tla-o-qui-aht Emergency Preparedness Coordinator and EOC Chair Elmer Frank told the Westerly News Sunday evening.

He said that anger was expressed by Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation members through social media on Sunday and Jones’ family is asking their communities to be respectful and hold off on posting about their frustration.

“Right now what the family is asking for is just to back off on the social media posts. We know that everybody is angry and frustrated right now but let’s get through these emotions and just grieve with each other right now…It hasn’t been 24 hours yet, the family is wanting to just be at ease right now,” Frank said.

“They’re asking our community members to be respectful, to allow the process to happen and allow the investigations to go through and asking for that time to be able to grieve…They don’t want to place any judgement before anything is concrete before them in terms of investigation results. Right now they’re just asking for that time to be able to fathom the loss.”

He said Jones was known as a helpful member of the community who always acknowledged his family.

“He was very helpful in the community. He always had a willing helping hand. He was certainly a very helpful man for sure. Everybody has their challenges as well as this young man, but there was hope that they were going to get through them,” he said. “He was very close with his parents…They’re definitely suffering.”

He said the First Nation held a community meeting via Zoom on Sunday afternoon and is trying to support each other virtually.

“It’s really difficult because normally we would be there supporting families physically. Considering that the pandemic is holding us back, following all of the public health orders,” he said. “We’re trying virtually, we’re continuously having Zoom meetings and telephone calls with the families…It’s the toughest thing that we have to go through when we’re going through loss because everybody in the world wants to be with families and friends when they have tragic losses.”



andrew.bailey@westerlynews.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

READ MORE: All inquiry recommendations implemented after fatal Port Hardy RCMP shooting: Ministry

READ MORE: Four of 55 reviews into police shootings completed in 2020; one officer charged

READ MORE: Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation woman, 26, fatally shot by police in Edmundston, N.B.

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

Just Posted

A science class at L.A. Matheson Secondary. March 2021. (Photo: Lauren Collins)
Reports of student attendance ‘dwindling’ at Surrey schools: teachers’ association

STA president said he’s heard from staff that students might not attend in-person for 4th quarter

(Photo: MOSAIC/Facebook)
Organization receives $10K from B.C. government to tackle racism in Surrey, White Rock

Funding to go toward forum for International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination

A police officer aims a radar gun at oncoming traffic during a school-zone speed trap traffic blitz outside Peace Arch Elementary in 2017. (File photo)
White Rock council heeds residents’ plea for better speed signage

Roper Avenue concerns note proximity of two elementary schools

Rainbow trouts thrashing with life as they’re about to be transferred to the largest lake of their lives, even though it’s pretty small. These rainbows have a blue tinge because they matched the blue of their hatchery pen, but soon they’ll take on the green-browns of their new home at Lookout Lake. (Zoe Ducklow/News Staff)
VIDEO: B.C. lake stocked with hatchery trout to delight of a seniors fishing club

The Cherish Trout Scouts made plans to come back fishing soon

Pall Bearers carrying the coffin of the Duke of Edinburgh, followed by the Prince of Wales, left and Princess Anne, right, into St George’s Chapel for his funeral, at Windsor Castle, in Windsor, England, Saturday April 17, 2021. (Danny Lawson/Pool via AP)
Trudeau announces $200K donation to Duke of Edinburgh award as Prince Philip laid to rest

A tribute to the late prince’s ‘remarkable life and his selfless service,’ the Prime Minister said Saturday

B.C. homeowners are being urged to take steps to prepare for the possibility of a flood by moving equipment and other assets to higher ground. (J.R. Rardon)
‘Entire province faces risk’: B.C. citizens urged to prepare for above-average spring flooding

Larger-than-normal melting snowpack poses a threat to the province as warmer weather touches down

Vancouver-based Doubleview Gold Corp. is developing claims in an area north of Telegraph Creek that occupies an important place in Tahltan oral histories, said Chad Norman Day, president of the Tahltan Central Government. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO)
B.C. Indigenous nation opposes mineral exploration in culturally sensitive area

There’s “no way” the Tahltan would ever support a mine there, says Chad Norman Day, president of its central government

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Stz’uminus Elder George Harris, Ladysmith Mayor Aaron Stone, and Stz’uminus Chief Roxanne Harris opened the ceremony. (Cole Schisler photo)
Symbolic red dresses rehung along B.C. highway after vandals tore them down

Leaders from Stz’uminus First Nation and the Town of Ladysmith hung new dresses on Sat. April 17

A Western toadlet crosses the centre line of Elk View Road in Chilliwack on Aug. 26, 2010. A tunnel underneath the road has since been installed to help them migrate cross the road. Saturday, April 24 is Save the Frogs Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Progress File)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of April 18 to 24

Save the Frogs Day, Love Your Thighs Day and Scream Day are all coming up this week

Local carpenter Tyler Bohn embarked on a quest to create the East Sooke Treehouse, after seeing people build similar structures on a Discovery Channel show. (East Sooke Treehouse Facebook photo)
PHOTOS: B.C. carpenter builds fort inspired by TV’s ‘Treehouse Masters’

The whimsical structure features a wooden walking path, a loft, kitchen – and is now listed on Airbnb

The Attorney General’s Ministry says certain disputes may now be resolved through either a tribunal or the court system, pending its appeal of a B.C. Supreme Court decision that reduced the tribunal’s jurisdiction. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
Court of Appeal grants partial stay in ruling on B.C. auto injuries

B.C. trial lawyers challenged legislation brought in to cap minor injury awards and move smaller court disputes to the Civil Resolution Tribunal

Most Read