Independent Investigations Office
For Immediate Release
Surrey, B.C. – The Independent Investigations Office (IIO) of B.C. has concluded its investigation into an incident in Sechelt on the Sunshine Coast on April 9, 2019.
Sunshine Coast RCMP reported that police responded to a local bank regarding a suspected fraud in progress on April 9, 2019. Police arrived and detained a male for investigative purposes. It is reported that the male then ran from police, who gave chase on foot. He was apprehended by police about 500 metres away but went into medical distress at that time.
The male was given immediate medical attention by police and a local doctor and nurse until BC Emergency Health Services arrived. The male was transported to the local Sunshine Coast hospital. He was pronounced deceased at 5:20 p.m.
The IIO determined that officers were acting in the lawful execution of their duty in detaining the male for investigative purposes, but the male ran. All evidence supports that having exerted himself in running away, the male suffered medical distress and died as a result. Officers provided appropriate first aid immediately but were unable to prevent the death.
The investigation, which included information from an autopsy, has demonstrated that there is no evidence of any injuries caused to the male, or that the action or inaction of officers was responsible for his death. Rather, he appears to have died as the result of natural causes.
The IIO is the independent civilian oversight agency of the police in British Columbia. It investigates all officer-related incidents that result in serious harm or death, whether or not there is any allegation of wrongdoing.