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IIO head talks about investigation into fatal police shooting in Campbell River

Surveillance video shows a man being shot by an RCMP officer at former motel on Island Highway
A former hotel at the corner of Island Highway and Park Road was the scene of a police shooting on Saturday, April 2, 2022. Ronan O’Doherty/ Campbell River Mirror

Warning: video below shows gun violence

The Independent Investigations Office of BC (IIO) has finished gathering evidence at the scene of a shooting involving police in Campbell River on Saturday, April 2.

Thanks to short staffing however, it could be quite a while before the results of the investigation are revealed to the public.

Information so far has been sparse.

IIO Chief Civilian Director Ron MacDonald was able to share that at about 11:30 a.m. Campbell River RCMP received a report of a man attempting to rob the River Sportsman store on Island Highway.

“Police responded, the male ran off, and there was an interaction between the police and the man where shots were fired,” MacDonald said.

He was unable to confirm exactly how many shots were fired, but did say the man was struck once.

An ambulance was called, and on the way to the hospital, the man died. MacDonald said investigators can not confirm the cause of death at this time.

He also would not confirm the name of the deceased, or the name of the officer involved. And would not say what kind of weapon the deceased was carrying at the time of the shooting.

“We won’t go into details early in the investigation in particular for a couple of reasons,” he noted. “One, we don’t want to sound like we’ve reached any conclusions – because we haven’t – and secondly, we don’t want to taint our investigation by putting thoughts or ideas into people’s heads before they have a chance to talk to us.

“We want their memories to be as free from other influence as possible.”

READ MORE: Police watchdog investigating after a man’s death in Campbell River

READ MORE: Police shootings in 2021: Experts say number in Canada remains too high

READ MORE: Probe of fatal shooting of Wet’suwet’en man in Campbell River needs Indigenous oversight: First Nation leaders

The police watchdog service is in receipt of surveillance footage of the shooting, which shows the man approaching the RCMP officer with what appears to be a weapon.

It would still like to hear from people who witnessed the incident.

“Even if you have any information it might be valuable,” MacDonald said. “It may or may not be directly related, but it might be something important to us.”

He noted while the IIO is understaffed right now, the quality of the investigation will not be affected.

“In this case we had to call in some resources from the two teams that weren’t on call on the weekend,” he said.

“But I don’t believe it’s going to have any negative affect on our investigation…What will happen though, is it will slow down the follow up work that is done.”

Witnesses, or anyone with information about the incident can reach the IIO at 1-855-446-8477 or via the contact form on the website

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