Man carrying 2x4 fatally shot by Vancouver police
B.C.’s police watchdog is investigating a cop-involved shooting in East Vancouver that left a man dead Saturday night.
The shooting happened just after 5 p.m. at East 41st and Knight streets, according to police.
Officers were called to the intersection for reports of a man behaving erratically and waving around a piece of wood commonly known as a two-by-four.
When the suspect didn't comply with officials, they tried to disarm him using bean-bag rounds, according to Const. Brian Montague.
Officers then shot at the man, and he was rushed to hospital where he later died.
Witness Kieran Fogarty told CTV News he saw the suspect walking south on Knight Street holding the two-by-four just before the grisly incident unfolded.
"He was hitting the fence with it. An elderly gentlman went to talk to him and he didn't respond," he said.
When police arrived, the suspect began walking toward them holding the lumber.
"They gave him one warning, then the cops fired two [bean-bag] shots," he said. "He ended up in the middle of the intersection and they fired on him with a pistol, and he went down."
Fogarty said the man didn't appear to be too much of a threat before he was shot.
"He did look very much like he was in a mental state of discontent and didn't really know what was going on and they fired on him right away," he said. "He did not threaten anyone else before that and he even had a man approach him."
Montague said a two-by-four could be considered a weapon that can cause life-altering injury or death.
"These are decisions that are made by officers that are not easy decisions," Montague said. "They're made in a split second under very difficult, stressful circumstances."
The officer involved in the shooting has less than five years of experience with the force, according to Montague.
No officers were injured in the incident.
The Independent Investigations Office has assumed conduct of the case. The identity of the victim remains unknown.