December 30, 2014 - 5:08 AM
SURREY - Investigators with B.C.'s police watchdog have conducted about 20 interviews with witnesses who were inside a Surrey grocery store when transit police officers shot a man.
A spokeswoman with the Independent Investigations Office says it has also reviewed video from within the Safeway store and recovered physical evidence from the scene.
The incident occurred just after 8 a.m. Sunday when officers responded to a complaint of a disturbance inside the store and fired their guns at a man who later died of his injuries.
IIO spokeswoman Kellie Kilpatrick wouldn't say if the man was harming himself — as has been reported — until her office can speak confidently that that is true.
Kilpatrick says despite the fact that B.C. police services are prohibited from speaking to media about investigations involving the IIO, a transit police spokeswoman provided information to news outlets on Sunday.
Transit police media advisor Anne Drennan says when she spoke to media it was just before she received word the IIO had taken over the investigation.
Drennan says transit officers received a call Sunday morning that a man had gone behind the counter of a convenience store just 300 metres from Surrey Central SkyTrain station and demanded a knife.
She says officers then heard on RCMP radio channels about the disturbance inside the Safeway so they responded to the nearby store.
Drennan says she cannot comment on what occurred inside the Safeway due to the IIO's investigation.
The IIO is still waiting for the results of the autopsy, which the BC Coroners Service is responsible.
News from © The Canadian Press, 2014