IIO Clears Dawson Creek Officer in Fatal Shooting (IIO 2015-000104)

Posted November 16, 2016

Information Bulletin
Independent Investigations Office
For Immediate Posting

Surrey – The Independent Investigations Office is issuing a public report today clearing a Dawson Creek RCMP officer of a fatal shooting that took place on July 16, 2015.

Based on a review of all of the evidence collected during the course of the investigation and the law as it applies, the interim Chief Civilian Director of the IIO does not consider that any police officer may have committed an offence under any enactment and therefore the matter will not be referred to Crown counsel for consideration of charges.

Background

At a July 16, 2015 event organized by BC Hydro in Dawson Creek related to the Site C Project, police were dispatched to a disturbance call at the Stonebridge Hotel at approximately 6:34 p.m.

At the scene, police observed a male (the affected person) disguised in a mask with one hand behind his back outside of the hotel. It would later become evident that the affected person was not the subject of the original complaint. Officers asked the affected person to show his hand but the affected person kept on moving past them.

Officers noted the affected person was carrying a switchblade but initially it was not open. According to several witnesses, the affected person opened the knife and moved towards the officers. Civilian witnesses who saw this interaction described the affected person’s behavior as “lunging towards”, “jabbing at” and “coming towards” the officers.

Police ordered the affected person to drop the knife. Pepper spray was deployed with no apparent effect. The affected person did not comply and was subsequently shot once by an officer who is being referred to in this public report as the “subject officer”. The affected person did not survive his injuries and was pronounced deceased in hospital.

The IIO was notified on July 16, 2015 at 8:50 p.m. and an investigation was commenced. This incident falls within the jurisdiction of the IIO as described in the Police Act.

Evidence examined in this investigation included statements made by civilians and witness officers; medical evidence; firearms evidence; dispatch records; police radio-to-radio communications and other forensic evidence collected from the scene.

The full public report can be found here.

Marten Youssef
Acting Director, Public Engagement & Policy
Marten.Youssef@iiobc.ca