VANCOUVER -- A 17-year-old is in hospital with critical injuries after an encounter with Surrey RCMP early Thursday morning, leaving his family heartbroken and wondering how it all happened.

Police said they were called about a possible robbery in progress involving a man with a knife in the Fleetwood area at about 2:15 a.m.

“The responding officer pulled into a parking lot and as they were pulling up, the man allegedly produced a firearm and shot at the officer who was still seated in their police car,” the RCMP said in a news release.

Police said the officer was not physically injured.

“The report is that the male then turned the gun on himself, suffering what we understand at this point to be life threatening injuries,” said Ron MacDonald, the chief civilian director with the Independent Investigations Office of B.C. The police watchdog has been called in to investigate what happened.

Allan Diggle said his teenaged son Jackson is the person in hospital. He told CTV News his son did not own a gun and was not suicidal. In fact, he said his son was excited about learning to drive and was in his Grade 12 year at North Surrey Secondary.

Diggle said police told him it was his son who called in the robbery at the complex.

“That’s the first I heard of that,” said MacDonald.

“Our investigation will of course look at all aspects of this matter to determine who shot the individual now suffering the life-threatening injuries, including of course examining the officer’s weapon to determine whether or not it was even fired,” he added.

He says there is no indication the officer’s weapon had been fired, however it has been seized as part of the investigation. RCMP said the officer faced a disturbing and life-threatening incident and is receiving support.

Diggle believes his son may have been going to a nearby convenience store for food when the events unfolded, something he would often do, even in the early morning hours.

Meanwhile, a witness who spoke to CTV News said he heard three muffled noises early Friday moring that turned out to be gunfire.

“I didn’t know if those were shots until around a minute later I was starting to hear sirens,” the witness said.

The IIO, which is called to investigate all incidents involving police officers that result in death or serious injury, is looking for any witnesses or anyone with surveillance video from the scene.

The parking lot was behind police lines for much of Friday as police carried out their investigation but investigators have since cleared the scene.