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

The Peninsula Community Foundation is set to host an online poker fundraiser on Dec. 11. (Unsplash photo)
Peninsula Community Foundation plans online poker tournament for charity

December fundraiser to feature pair of Surrey/White Rock poker pros

Lacey, a palomino paint, is in “amazing” shape now, compared to when she was rescued in August 2015. (Leanne Peniuk photo)
BC SPCA’s horse-rescue program offers equine intervention

Book Rescue Me raises funds, awareness for animal-welfare agency

Hugh Dobbie’s South Surrey-based tech business Yare Media was recently acquired by California’s Visaic Inc. (SFU photo)
South Surrey tech company acquired by California business

Hugh Dobbie founded Yare Media in 2016, and ‘will remain involved’

Fraser Health has declared a COVID-19 outbreak at Newton Elementary School in Surrey, according to an information bulletin Friday, Nov. 27, 2020. (Image: Google Street View)
COVID-19 outbreak declared at second Surrey elementary school

Newton Elementary closed for two weeks, set to reopen Dec. 14

Joy Johnson, seen here during an installation ceremony on Oct. 22, is Simon Fraser University’s 10th president and vice-chancellor. (Submitted photo)
SFU’s Surrey campus tackling COVID-19-related research

‘We can learn now,’ SFU president Joy Johnson said, ‘so should something like this happen again we’ll be prepared. We have to learn from this current pandemic’

Mary Cox and Jack Plant dance in their pyjamas and slippers at the morning pyjama dance during the Rhythm Reelers’ 25 Annual Rally in the Valley Square Dance Festival in Chilliwack on June 4, 2011. Sunday, Nov. 29, 2020 is Square Dancing Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Nov. 29 to Dec. 5

Square Dancing Day, Disability Day and International Ninja Day are all coming up this week

Black Press Media and BraveFace have come together to support children facing life-threatening conditions. Net proceeds from these washable, reusable, three-layer masks go to Make-A-Wish Foundation BC & Yukon.
Put on a BraveFace: Help make children’s wishes come true

Black Press Media, BraveFace host mask fundraiser for Make-A-Wish Foundation

114 Canadians were appointed Nov. 27 to the Order of Canada. (Governor General of Canada photo)
Indigenous actor, author, elder, leaders appointed to Order of Canada

Outstanding achievement, community dedication and service recognized

Screenshot of Pastor James Butler giving a sermon at Free Grace Baptist Church in Chilliwack on Nov. 22, 2020. The church has decided to continue in-person services despite a public health order banning worship services that was issued on Nov. 19, 2020. (YouTube)
2 Lower Mainland churches continue in-person services despite public health orders

Pastors say faith groups are unfairly targeted and that charter rights protect their decisions

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

A big job: Former forests minister Doug Donaldson stands before a 500-year-old Douglas fir in Saanich to announce preservation of some of B.C.’s oldest trees, July 2019. (B.C. government)
B.C. returning to ‘stand-alone’ forests, rural development ministry

Horgan says Gordon Campbell’s super-ministry doesn’t work

Peter Wilson, left, and Micah Rankin, right, formed the Special Prosecutor team that was tasked with reviewing and litigating charges stemming from the Bountiful investigation. Trevor Crawley photo.
End of Bountiful prosecution wraps up decades of legal battles

Constitutional questions had to be settled before a polygamy prosecution could move forward

Alexandre Bissonnette, who pleaded guilty to a mass shooting at a Quebec City mosque, arrives at the courthouse in Quebec City on February 21, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Mathieu Belanger - POOL
Court strikes down consecutive life sentences; mosque shooter has prison term cut

The decision was appealed by both the defence and the Crown

Gold medallists in the ice dance, free dance figure skating Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir, of Canada, pose during their medals ceremony at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, Tuesday, Feb. 20, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Charlie Riedel
Olympic champions Virtue, Moir and Tewksbury among 114 Order of Canada inductees

Moir and Virtue catapulted to national stardom with their gold-medal performances at the Winter Olympics in 2018

Most Read