The IIO released two cropped photos taken by a city of Kelowna employee just before the shooting.

Investigation justifies shooting of homeless man by B.C. RCMP officer

Incident won’t be referred to Crown counsel for consideration of charges

An independent investigation has found a Kelowna RCMP female officer should not face charges after shooting a homeless man in August 2017.

An investigation of the incident by the Independent Investigations Office of B.C. found the police officer acted in an appropriate measure when she and a City of Kelowna worker were confronted by an angry man advancing toward them waving a large axe handle in a threatening manner.

“I do not consider that an officer may have committed an offence under any enactment and therefore the matter will not be referred to Crown counsel for consideration of charges,” stated the report, co-submitted by IIO chief civilian director Ronald MacDonald and general counsel Clinton Sadlemyer.

RELATED: RCMP officer involved in Kelowna shooting

The investigation focused on conflicting accounts of how the shooting unfolded based on interviews with the individual shot in the shoulder, a serious but non-life threatening wound, and both the police officer and city worker.

On Aug. 3, 2017, beginning at about 12:55 p.m., the police officer and city worker responded to a complaint of an unauthorized homeless camp near Duck Lake Road, finding a tent or tarp lined up against a large tree near a steep embankment.

As the neared the tent, they were approached by an individual carrying an axe handle. Ignoring repeated requests by the police officer to drop the axe handle over about a 10-minute interaction, the police officer retreated until stopped by a wire fence.

The shooting victim claimed he was using the axe handle as a crutch after suffering a spider bite on the side of his knee earlier that morning which required medical treatment.

After one final warning and voiced concern from the city worker that the man “was getting …to goddamn close,” the officer fired a shot from a distance of about 5.5 metres.

The shooting victim had contested the officer used excessive force by shooting him, which could lead to charges of attempted murder, aggravated assault or assault causing bodily harm.

But the investigation found his account that he did not leave the area where his tent was pitched or advance on the police office were contradicted by two photographs taken by the city worker as the scene unfolded.

“The comments to (the shooting victim) by the police officer, as related by the (city worker), indicate the officer appropriately attempted to de-escalate the situation while at the same time protecting herself and the (city worker),” the report concluded.

“It was certainly reasonable for (the police officer) to conclude that this non-compliant and angry male with a significant weapon could easily cause her imminent grievous bodily harm.”



barry.gerding@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Just Posted

Social media a blessing and a curse during time of crisis: B.C. communication expert

‘In moments of crisis, fear is very real and palpable,’ says SFU’s Peter Chow-White

COVID-19: Isolation exemptions to frontline workers a danger to patients, say Island Health employees

Staff exempt from self-isolation upon return from international travel according to Island Health

North Island community groups are adapting due to COVID-19

‘The coronavirus and its effects make this a challenging time for us all’

B.C. COVID-19 contact restrictions working, Dr. Bonnie Henry says

’Not out of the woods yet’ as next two weeks are critical

Funding has been denied for Port Hardy’s much anticipated Multiplex Pool Project

‘reviewing alternatives and opportunities in the coming months to address the aging infrastructure’

Evening world update: U.S. restrictions extended 30 days; NY deaths near 1,000

Comprehensive world update, with the latest developments in the COVID-19 crisis

‘It’s up to us: Recently-returned B.C. couple urges Canadians to take COVID-19 seriously

Garrett Kucher and Tory Apostoliuk make it home after almost a week of lockdown in Spain

‘Nothing concrete’: Tenants, landlords lack details after B.C. unveils COVID-19 rental aid

Single mom in Golden says she’s already going to the food bank after being laid off

Speed, alcohol not ruled out as factors in crash that left one person dead

Police watchdog, Campbell River Major Crimes Unit are investigating

Canada will make sure masks sent by China meet quality standards: Trudeau

Chinese Embassy tweeted that China was sending 30,000 medical masks along with gowns, gloves and goggles

B.C. issues guidelines about distancing, reusable bags to grocery stores amid COVID-19

Hand sanitizer and markers to keep lines two metres are apart are needed, province says

No plans to call in military right now to enforce COVID-19 quarantine: Trudeau

Trudeau unveils $7.5M for Kids Help Phone, $9M for vulnerable seniors amid COVID-19

QUIZ: How much do you know about the Olympics?

Put your knowledge to the test with these 12 questions

Most Read