West Kelowna  

Authorities confirm police-involved shooting in West Kelowna

Police shooting investigated

Cindy White

UPDATE 1:55 p.m.

B.C.’s police watchdog has confirmed they are investigating an officer-involved shooting that occurred Wednesday in West Kelowna.

In a statement Thursday afternoon, the Independent Investigations Office (IIO) of BC says they have been told by RCMP that officers were called to a shots-fired call in the 700-block of Harvey Avenue at 12:10 p.m. on Oct. 18.

While police were en route, additional 911 callers said a man with a weapon had left the area in a vehicle.

A separate news release from the RCMP says a short time later, firefighters in West Kelowna reported that a vehicle had crashed on Olalla Road and when they arrived, a man exited the vehicle with a gun.

When the West Kelowna RCMP arrived, the vehicle was empty, but the suspect was found a short distance away where he entered a portable toilet on Skyline Road.

RCMP said its tactical Emergency Response Team and a negotiator were called, but the man would not comply with directions.

“A short time later, it is reported that there was an interaction between the man and police, and an officer discharged their firearm,” said the IIO statement. “The man sustained a gunshot-related injury and was transported to a local hospital for treatment.”

The Kelowna RCMP’s Serious Crimes Unit is investigating the incidents that preceded the shooting.

RCMP say they will not be providing any additional comment, because of the IIO investigation into the incident.

“Initial investigative steps will seek to confirm the details of what occurred leading up to and during the interaction with police, and whether police actions were reasonable, justified, and proportionate in the circumstances,” the IIO said.

The IIO investigates all police incidents involving serious injury or death, regardless of if there is an accusation of wrongdoing.

ORIGINAL 12:45 p.m.

Investigators remain tight-lipped a day after police shot a man following a brief standoff Wednesday afternoon at a porta-potty in West Kelowna.

B.C.’s police watchdog, the Independent Investigations Office, is now at the scene of the shooting on Skyline Road in the Lakeview Heights neighbourhood.

The IIO investigates all police incidents involving serious injury or death, regardless of if there is an accusation of wrongdoing. The agency initially said a statement would be expected by Wednesday afternoon, but have since then remained just as quiet as the RCMP.

Meanwhile, a resident of Skyline Road who witnessed the shooting Wednesday said he was told by investigators that the shot man survived, although that remains unconfirmed by authorities.

On Thursday, members of both the RCMP and IIO remained at the scene collecting evidence, focused on the porta-potty and surrounding area, which remains behind crime scene tape.

Neighbours are also being interviewed.

On Wednesday, RCMP said a major police response to the 700 block of Harvey Avenue and the incident on Skyline Road were connected.

Officers arrived on Skyline Road at roughly 2 p.m. Wednesday and surrounded a porta-potty in front of an empty lot.

“He must have been there, 20 minutes or so, and then he came out and then they shot him,” said a witness, adding the suspect “went about 10 metres” before police opened fire.

The suspect was then loaded into an ambulance.

This story will be updated when the IIO and RCMP provide a comment.

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