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

Questions around rail safety, firefighter safety, cleanup near the rail yards and tracks, whistle cessation, etc were raised during the RDBN meeting with CN. (File photo)
‘Lot of our concerns are still not being heard,’ say RDBN directors on CN’s response

Frustrated over lack of solutions, despite communicating their concerns to CN

Barbara Patrick. (Submitted/Lakes District News)
Former Burns Lake local to play the first Indigenous character in a Hallmark movie

Barbara Patrick, a former LDSS student takes a huge step for the Indigenous community

The Burns Lake RCMP is supportive of having a ticketing bylaw in place even though there would be limitations on what they could ticket on. (Priyanka Ketkar photo/Lakes District News)
Burns Lake might be getting a ticketing bylaw

Will help extend RCMP’s authority to attend to noise complaints

A woman wears a protective face covering to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 as she walks along the seawall in North Vancouver Wednesday, November 25, 2020.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
911 new COVID-19 cases, 11 deaths as B.C. sees deadliest week since pandemic began

Hospitalizations reach more than 300 across the province

More than 60 cm of snow has fallen at Ulkatcho First Nation near Anahim Lake in the Chilcotin since a snowfall warning went into effect Thursday, Nov. 26. (Graham West photo)
VIDEO: More than 60 cm of snowfall in Chilcotin since Thursday, Nov. 26

Graham West of Ulkatcho First Nation captures the scene on video

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)
Two Fraser Valley churches continue in-person services despite public health orders

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

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

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

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

Shoppers line up in front of a shop on Montreal’s Saint-Catherine Street in search of Black Friday deals in Montreal, Friday, Nov. 27, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
Black Friday shopping in a pandemic: COVID-19 closes some stores, sales move online

Eric Morris, head of retail at Google Canada, says e-commerce in Canada has doubled during the pandemic.

School District 27 announced the first confirmed case of COVID-19 this week (Nov. 23) at Lake City Secondary School Williams Lake campus. (Angie Mindus photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
Entire gym class at northern B.C. high school isolating after confirmed COVID case

Contact tracing by Interior Health led to the quarantine

Most Read