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Suspect 'unambiguously' pointed loaded gun at RCMP officer before being shot, killed in Surrey: IIO

Police and first responders are on the scene of an officer-involved shooting in Surrey's Guildford neighbourhood Wednesday, April 5, 2023. The Independent Investigations Office has been deployed. (CTV) Police and first responders are on the scene of an officer-involved shooting in Surrey's Guildford neighbourhood Wednesday, April 5, 2023. The Independent Investigations Office has been deployed. (CTV)
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An RCMP officer who shot and killed a man in Surrey last year will not face criminal charges, according to B.C.’s police watchdog – which found the Mountie fired his weapon after a loaded pistol was pointed at him.

The Independent Investigations Office of B.C. issued its report on the April 5, 2023, shooting last week and found the officer’s use of lethal force was reasonable and justified in the circumstances.

Two officers were initially dispatched that evening to respond to a mental health call at B.C. Housing building on 104 Avenue, the IIO’s report said. However, when the two Mounties arrived at the scene, another resident called the front desk to report she had been robbed.

“Three males were then seen passing in front of the lobby windows, carrying large bags,” the report continues.

The officer under investigation is referred to as the subject officer, or “SO,” in the report and the man who was shot is identified as the affected person, or “AP.” The IIO does not compel subject officers to provide evidence, and in this case SO did not provide any. However, statements were given by five witnesses as well as the other officer at the scene. Audio of the 911 call was reviewed, as was surveillance video from the scene.

Based on this evidence, the IIO report describes what unfolded.

One of the non-police witnesses called 911 and told the dispatcher that police were pursuing suspects after a resident reported a robbery.

“I have two police here right now and they have two guys who have just robbed someone, but they have guns on them,” the IIO report says, quoting from the call during which the worker asked for “backup right now.”

After the other suspect fled—pursued by the other RCMP officer—SO attempted to arrest AP. The witness told the IIO she saw both SO and AP with guns drawn.

“(The witness) turned away, and heard two shots. She then saw SO attempting CPR on AP,” the report says.

The IIO report also says that the “critical” part of the incident was caught on security video and showed AP resisting arrest and SO struggling to subdue him.

“AP then extends his right arm straight backwards towards SO, unambiguously pointing his pistol directly at SO,” the report says.

This screen grab from security video shows a gun being pointed at an RCMP officer in Surrey. (Image credit: Independent Investigations Office of B.C.)

A nine millimeter, semi-automatic pistol was recovered from the scene, and the IIO report says it was loaded with a round in the chamber. AP’s autopsy revealed that he died from two gunshot wounds.

“AP’s act in pulling a loaded firearm and pointing it at SO justified the officer’s immediate use of lethal force in self-defence. While we have no account from SO setting out subjective reasons for discharging a weapon at AP, and there is no evidence that AP actually intended to do more than threaten SO, that threat in itself provided ample justification, objectively, for SO’s response,” the report concludes.

This photo shows a gun seized from the scene of a fatal, officer-involved shooting in Surrey on April 5, 2023. (Image credit: Independent Investigations Office of B.C.)

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