UPDATE: Man shot and killed in police-involved shooting at Nanaimo ferry terminal
We are learning more about a police-involved shooting at the Departure Bay ferry terminal in Nanaimo this (Tuesday) morning.
The BC Coroner's Service has been called in to investigate a death, and the Independent Investigations office has taken over the case. The IIO is an independent agency tasked with investigating police incidents involving serious harm or death.
According to BC-RCMP Communications the Island District Emergency Response Team was assisting Nanaimo RCMP with the arrest of a man in connection to a violent car jacking incident elsewhere in BC.
As the vehicle disembarked it was stopped. According to officers on scene the man got out of the vehicle with what police believed was a firearm, and shots were fired resulting in serious injuries to the man. He later succumbed to his injuries.
No officers, nor any members of the public were injured during the takedown.
The incident began unfolding as passengers waited to board the 10:40 ferry to Horseshoe Bay.
Among those waiting was former Saanich Mayor Frank Leonard who tells CFAX 1070 he was outside his car having coffee when he saw the ferry arrive and vehicles start getting off. Then there was a gap in traffic, and he heard something across the terminal in the departure lane:
"I heard what I thought was a backfire, a boom, like a truck when it has a backfire. I didn't think too much of that, but only within a few seconds after that I heard 'bang, bang, bang, bang, bang, bang' which I immediately thought were gunshots."
Leonard says an announcement came over the public address system telling passengers to stay in their vehicles as a police incident was underway. Leonard says he saw a cluster of unmarked police vehicles with their wig-wag lights operating, and witnessed 2 ambulances arrive on scene:
" The stretcher came out of one ambulance, but I didn't see one go back in. And maybe 20 minutes after that they started to unload the ferry using the arrivals section because the departure lanes were blocked with this incident."
The Independent Investigation Office will determine if there is any link between police actions and the unidentified man's injuries.
Since the matter is now under investigation by the IIO no further information is being released.