The ex-girlfriend of a man shot dead by B.C. Mounties in Surrey on Wednesday ran into a neighbouring yard for help before the fatal shooting, according to people working on a home next door.

Brendon Samuel Beddow, 23, was killed outside a home in Crescent Beach after police were called to attend a 911 call about a domestic incident.

Officers were confronted by a man witnesses say was holding a gun when they arrived at the home, but it's not clear if he fired any shots.

Workers on a construction site next door said a young woman came to them before the shooting to ask for help dealing with her ex-boyfriend.

"She was crying and she was clearly upset. And she was asking us, me and another guy that was on the deck to call the cops," said Kris Elvevoll.

Elvevoll said the woman and man seemed to sort things out and went back to the house together. A short time later, he said things erupted again, with the woman coming back to the area they were working.

"[She] spotted me on the roof and she said, ‘please, you gotta help me,'" he said.

The workers took the shaken woman inside the home next door as police arrived.

Joe McNamee said that's when he heard gunshots ring out.

"I heard a shot then ‘pow, pow,'" he said. "And we all went around the corner here, looked around the corner and saw cop cars there."

Witnesses said they saw a man run out of the house shouting and looking "out of it."

Elvevoll said police kept telling the armed man to drop the weapon.

"He just kept telling him to f*** off. That probably happened a dozen times and then a shot went off. And then a few more shots went off. Then it got kinda quiet," he said.

Neighbours reported hearing as many as four shots fired.

The Vancouver Police Department has been called in to investigate the shooting.

Beddow has past criminal convictions on drug charges and driving while prohibited. He had three outstanding charges of driving while prohibited when he was killed.

With a report from CTV British Columbia's Michele Brunoro