Man shot in the head after ramming RCMP van: witnesses
Published Saturday, July 31, 2010 4:32PM PDT
Witnesses say the man who was shot and killed by RCMP officers in Kamloops, B.C., Friday night had just rammed his SUV into an unmarked police van.
The confrontation began after Mounties followed the SUV, a black Toyota 4Runner, into the parking lot of the So Espresso and Bistro on Tranquille Road at about 6:15 p.m.
"The person in the 4Runner realized it was the RCMP, put his vehicle in reverse, rammed their vehicle," Renato Uliana, who runs a nearby restaurant, told CTV News.
Witnesses then reported hearing as many as four shots fired; at least one of them hit the driver in the head. The 4Runner drove forward, becoming lodged in the coffee shop where it remained on Saturday afternoon.
The identity of the deceased has not been released.
Uliana said from his vantage point, the officers were acting in self defence.
"When you've got a vehicle rammed into yours, there is some intention to do some damage," he said. "What I saw, I'm not blaming the RCMP at all in this."
Mounties have so far been tight-lipped about the incident, and would not confirm media reports that a convenience store robbery and a car chase preceded the shooting.
On Friday, Const. Cheryl Bush confirmed two veteran officers were involved in the shooting, and that neither had sustained injuries.
The Calgary Police Service has been called in to investigate and determine whether charges should be laid.