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B.C. watchdog investigating two police killings in less than a week

July 19, 2015 - 8:30 AM

SURREY, - British Columbia's police watchdog is investigating its second police shooting in less than a week after officers killed a distressed man in Surrey early Saturday morning.

The Independent Investigations Office said police responded to reports of a suicidal man outside the headquarters of Surrey RCMP.

Investigators said police rushed outside and located the male, a struggle ensued and he was shot by an officer and died.

A police officer suffered a non-life-threatening gunshot wound and was taken to hospital, but was expected to be released later today.

No other police officers or members of the public were injured.

The incident follows a fatal RCMP shooting in Dawson Creek on Thursday evening outside a BC Hydro public hearing on the contentious Site C dam project.

Officers responded to an earlier and unrelated complaint of a disturbance inside the Fixx Urban Grill in the Stonebridge Hotel where the hearing was being held when they encountered a man outside.

Police have said the man was wearing a mask and approached officers in an aggressive manner, refusing to comply with directions and was fatally shot.

Kellie Kilpatrick, an IIO official, has not confirmed witness reports that the man was wearing a Guy Fawkes mask.

Social media accounts claiming to be linked with Anonymous, the loosely-connected hacking and activist network known for its use of Guy Fawkes masks, have commented on the shooting.

@YourAnonNews, which has 1.46 million followers, tweeted Friday: "Ohai @rcmpgrcpolice we would like to report a murder of one of our comrades by some of your officers. Shall we expect justice or cover up?"

User @jaymack9 tweeted on Thursday afternoon that an Anonymous "splinter group" was to attend the Site C meeting in Dawson Creek that night.

Investigators have not confirmed any link between the social media posts and the incident.

Kilpatrick says a knife was recovered at the scene along with other physical evidence.

She says investigators have conducted several interviews with civilians and witness officers and are obtaining and reviewing video from businesses and witnesses.

A video that appeared to have been shot by a witness from a hotel room overlooking the scene emerged on Facebook on Friday.

The video appeared to show the aftermath of the shooting with two officers standing over a man who was slumped on the ground in a pool of blood.

An officer appears to kick away an object from the man's hand before he is handcuffed and first aid is administered.

The IIO has not commented on the authenticity of the Facebook video.

The agency has responded to six officer-involved shootings in B.C. since the beginning of April, including in Vancouver, Burnaby, Salmon Arm and Port Hardy.

News from © The Canadian Press, 2015
The Canadian Press

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