IIO investigating circumstances of off-duty Richmond RCMP officer's death
VANCOUVER -- B.C.'s police watchdog says it is investigating the death of an off-duty Richmond RCMP officer who had suffered what appeared to be self-inflicted injuries.
The Independent Investigations Office announced its investigation into the incident on Friday, saying in a news release that it was looking into the "circumstances surrounding" the officer's death.
Calls to 911 around 9:15 p.m. on Feb. 21 reported a woman considering self-harm, according to the IIO.
Just after 10 p.m., Vancouver police officers found a woman's body on the sidewalk of the Moray Bridge in Richmond, the IIO said, adding that she had suffered what appeared to be self-inflicted injuries.
The IIO did not name the officer who had died or provide any additional information about the reason for the investigation.
The office is tasked with investigating all incidents involving police officers in British Columbia that result in serious harm or death, regardless of whether there is an allegation of wrongdoing on the part of police.
The deceased officer has been identified on social media as Const. Jasmine Thiara, and an announcement from the RCMP Veterans' Association acknowledges Thiara's death, though it does not provide any information on how she died.
"We recognize that this is an extremely difficult time for Jasmine’s family, friends and work colleagues," the association's statement reads. "We wish to all the strength to carry on through this tragedy and offer our sincerest condolences."
In an email statement to CTV News Vancouver, the officer in charge of the Richmond RCMP detachment said members are grieving.
“We continue to deal with the overwhelming shock and grief over the loss of one of our Richmond RCMP police officers," said Cst. Supt. Will Ng.
"Their family has asked for privacy so we have not discussed the loss publicly. However, information around the death has been shared with the greater RCMP family so we can all come together to deal with the tragic news about one of our own.”
Ng said the BC Coroners Service is also investigating and supports are being provided to the officer's family and other members.
On Saturday, B.C. RCMP spokesperson Dawn Roberts told CTV News an "internal review" of the situation is also underway. That review is being handled by RCMP members from outside the Richmond detachment, Roberts said.