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'He was trying to get back home': Sister identifies man killed by police in Revelstoke, B.C.

The older sister of the man shot to death by police in Revelstoke, B.C., last week has identified him as Garry Pashe Jr., a 23-year-old father of two from Manitoba. (Mellisa Pashe) The older sister of the man shot to death by police in Revelstoke, B.C., last week has identified him as Garry Pashe Jr., a 23-year-old father of two from Manitoba. (Mellisa Pashe)
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The older sister of the man shot to death by police in Revelstoke, B.C., last week has identified him as Garry Pashe Jr., a 23-year-old father of two from Manitoba.

Mellisa Pashe described her youngest brother as a "happy kid" who had come to B.C. to help a cousin move and was trying to get home when he was killed sometime late on Aug. 27 or early on Aug. 28.

The BC RCMP said its Revelstoke detachment received a report of a stolen vehicle around 11 p.m. on Aug. 27.

Roughly 45 minutes later, the owner of the vehicle reported that they had found it, but the occupant drove it away, police said in a statement last week

"Officers were able to locate the vehicle, and during attempts to stop it, there was contact between the stolen vehicle and a police vehicle," the RCMP statement reads.

"The man exited the vehicle and, after a brief foot chase, reportedly entered the police vehicle."

Police said one officer fired at the man, striking him. BC Emergency Health Services was called to the scene and took the man to hospital, where he was later pronounced dead.

'HE WAS TRYING TO GET BACK HOME'

Mellisa Pashe said her brother was the man police killed.

She told CTV News she last heard from him in a text message he sent her around 5:25 a.m., Central Time, on Aug. 26. Though the message simply asked how she was doing – she was sleeping and didn't see it until hours later – she thinks he reached out because he was looking for help.

"He was trying to get back home," she said. "He didn't want to miss his son's first birthday. I think that's why he messaged me, also, to ask for some financial assistance to help him get home. He didn't state that, but I have a feeling that's why he messaged me."

She said she thinks that's also why he stole the car, but whatever the reason for his encounter with police that night, she's convinced it shouldn't have ended the way it did.

"It's not right," she said. "Whatever happened is not right."

She said her brother "wasn't a violent person" and "never had weapons on him."

"They could've Tased him," she said. "They could've used any other kind of force other than shooting him … He was a big kid, but I think he was more scared than anything. For them to pull a gun out on him, I can just imagine his fears."

IIO INVESTIGATING

The Independent Investigations Office of B.C. is tasked with looking into all police-related incidents in the province that result in death or serious harm to a member of the public.

Its chief civilian director Ron MacDonald told CTV News the investigation has been progressing, with a "thorough forensic examination" of the scene complete and witness interviews underway.

MacDonald would not say whether the deceased – referred to as the "affected person" in IIO parlance – had a weapon in his possession.

"It's still very early in the investigation and there may be more witnesses to come forward," he said. "We always are very cautious early in an investigation not to give out too many facts so as not to possibly taint any future witnesses."

One person the IIO hasn't spoken to yet is Mellisa Pashe, who said she has contacted the B.C. agency multiple times, but has not received a response.

MacDonald said his team has been in contact with a few members of the affected person's family, and that his understanding is that communication is continuing with a designated point-person.

Asked what she wants to see happen next, Mellisa Pashe had a simple answer:

"Justice. Justice for my brother."

She added that she hopes an officer or officers will be charged for killing him.

The IIO doesn't have the power to charge officers. Rather, if MacDonald believes there is evidence to suggest an officer committed a crime, he will forward a report to Crown prosecutors for consideration of charges.

The key question for MacDonald to answer in this case will be whether the officers' use of lethal force met the legal threshold at which officers are allowed to do so.

"They can only use lethal force if they have reasonable grounds to believe they are facing a risk of grievous bodily harm or death," he said, noting that simply having the subjective belief that they're in danger is "not good enough."

Though she wasn't present when her brother was killed, Mellisa Pashe said she's confident that he wasn't a threat.

"I know in my heart that my brother wouldn't hurt a soul," she said. 

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