The Independent Investigations Office of B.C. is looking into a July 8 shooting in Port Hardy, and seeking additional witnesses.
Port Hardy RCMP responded on Wednesday morning just after 11 a.m. to a complaint of a man making threats towards security staff at Port Hardy Secondary School, where a staging area for a wildfire burning throughout the past week had been set up. The man was allegedly wielding a knife.
Police located the man, and he was fatally shot near the intersection of Highway 19 and Granville Street. No other civilians or police were injured.
The Independent Investigations Office of B.C. (IIO) has taken jurisdiction over the investigation and in a July 9 media release said that one officer directly involved in the shooting has been identified. Two other witness officers have also been identified and interviewed.
The IIO believes there may have been additional witnesses to the incident at the Highway 19 and Granville Street intersection.
The intersection is right beside Seawind Estates, a division of townhouses. Jennifer Taylor, who can see the scene from the window of her townhouse, says that the sound of gun shots echoing off the fence in front of the street sounded like fireworks. Taylor says that almost immediately after, a yellow tarp was placed over the body. Taylor says that those living beside the still-taped off scene are “wishing that we really knew what transpired.”
An eyewitness reports that the body lay out in the summer heat for more than eight hours. The IIO responded to questions about this duration by saying that the body cannot be moved until the coroner authorizes the removal and has gathered all the evidence they need.
The scene examination is almost complete, and the IIO reports that significant physical evidence has been seized. Investigators will focus today on interviewing witnesses and examining any available cell phone video.