Man fatally shot by Vancouver police in robbery; officer, store worker stabbed | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Man fatally shot by Vancouver police in robbery; officer, store worker stabbed

Police are seen outside a Canadian Tire store in Vancouver, B.C. Thursday, Nov. 10, 2016. Vancouver police responded to what they called a "serious" incident at a Canadian Tire store Thursday afternoon on the city's eastside.
Image Credit: THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
November 11, 2016 - 2:00 PM

VANCOUVER - A man was fatally shot by Vancouver police Thursday afternoon after a police spokesman says he confronted officers when they were called to a robbery in progress at a Canadian Tire store.

Sgt. Brian Montague said a police officer was stabbed by the suspect and an employee of the store was also stabbed during the incident. They were listed in stable condition in hospital and Montague said both were expected to survive.

Police were called to the store near Grandview Highway and Rupert Street in east Vancouver shortly after 3 p.m. when they confronted the suspect as he ran from the Canadian Tire, he said.

The officer, who was stabbed multiple times, has been with the department for five years, he added.

Montague said the suspect died at the scene.

"When we hear that employees have been injured in that robbery, we want to be careful about how we proceed but we also want to make sure that we don't have someone going on some sort of a rampage inside the store," he said.

"So as our officers went to go in to make sure everyone was OK, our suspect was coming out."

He said it's unclear whether one or multiple officers fired shots at the suspect and the Independent Investigations Office will help determine that. The provincial police watchdog investigates when there has been a death or serious harm suffered in cases involving police to determine whether an officer may have committed an offence.

Katarina Mitchell, 24, said she was in the upstairs parking lot of the Canadian Tire when she saw employees and customers running out of the store. Moments later, she said she heard sirens and police cars came flying into the lot.

Several officers got out of the cars carrying guns just before a large man wearing a green jacket came out of Canadian Tire holding what appeared to be a rifle and a spray can, she said.

The man sprayed something at the first officer who approached and a substance appeared to get in his eyes, she said, adding that a second officer then came after the man from behind and the two started "wrestling" on the ground.

"Then you hear shots go off, bang, bang, bang," Mitchell said. "The guy is just dead on the ground there, not moving."

Mitchell said about 15 police cars responded as well as several ambulances and fire trucks.

"It's kind of scary," she said. "Especially living in this area, that something like this can happen so close to home. … It's lucky that more people didn't get hurt in this horrible situation."

Chief Adam Palmer has visited the officer and his wife in hospital to offer support, said Montague.

Montague didn't have any information about the suspect.

"We don't know who he is," he said.

He said police were following up unconfirmed reports of a second suspect. Officers entered the store to search for other suspects or victims but found none.

Montague said the police department has counselling support for officers who are injured on the job. In his two decades as a police officer, he said he has been stabbed and shot at.

"It's an unfortunate reality of our job."

News from © The Canadian Press, 2016
The Canadian Press

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