IIO Update on the Investigations Underway in Dawson Creek and Surrey

Posted July 20, 2015

INFORMATION BULLETIN
Independent Investigations Office
For Immediate Release

SURREY – The Independent Investigations Office of BC confirms that investigators remain heavily deployed in response to the two recent officer involved shootings.

Dawson Creek

The IIO is investigating the actions of the RCMP in Dawson Creek after a man was shot on the evening of July 16, 2015. Over the past few days, a team of IIO investigators have been in Dawson Creek conducting standard tasks including obtaining physical evidence from the scene; interviewing a number of civilian witnesses; designating and interviewing officers; reviewing video from the scene and from witnesses; and meeting with the affected person’s family.

The information reported to the IIO was that the affected person had approached officers in an aggressive manner and when he did not comply with directions and commands, he was shot. He did not survive his injuries.

The IIO investigation will address all aspects of the actions of the police officers as well as the affected person and will rely on independent verification of the information the IIO received when notified.

It is not IIO policy to release specific information related to the investigation. This allows witnesses to provide their information without influence and as such ensures the integrity of the investigation.

 

Surrey

On Saturday, July 18, 2015, the IIO was notified about an officer involved shooting that took place in the 1800 block of 152nd Street in South Surrey. According to the information police provided to the IIO, they were responding to a “call for service” about a man who was suicidal and in significant distress. The notification stated that when officers located the man, a physical struggle ensued, shots were fired and the man did not survive his injuries.

Since that time, a team of IIO investigators have been working through investigative tasks that include preserving and seizing evidence from the scene; designating and interviewing officers; interviewing potential civilian witnesses; canvassing for additional witnesses; and obtaining video and radio transmissions. The focus of the investigation is on the actions of the police officer (s) when they received the call for service and when they came into contact with the deceased.

The IIO can confirm that other than police issued equipment, nothing of significance was recovered from the scene in Surrey.

In both cases, it is the BC Coroners Service who is responsible for releasing information about the deceased. It is the RCMP who are responsible for making the decisions on the involved officers’ work status.

This is the sixth officer-involved shooting that is under investigation by the IIO since April 1, 2015. In addition, the IIO has sustained jurisdiction in a number of other cases; over 45 are under investigation.  Due to the level of deployment in various regions of the province, there will be limited media availability.

Independent Investigations Office