Man shot and killed by RCMP, police dog stabbed to death in Campbell River
British Columbia's police watchdog is investigating after an RCMP officer shot and killed a man in Campbell River on Thursday morning. A police dog was also killed in the altercation.
Mounties say the incident began just before 9 a.m. when Campbell River RCMP officers attempted to stop a vehicle related to an outstanding warrant. Police say the vehicle fled the scene.
The same vehicle was spotted later in a parking lot at a Tim Hortons in the 2000-block of South Island Highway.
Mounties say an officer was able to box the vehicle in before confronting the driver with a police service dog.
During the confrontation, the dog was stabbed and killed and the man was shot by police. The officer also suffered a knife wound, according to the RCMP.
The man was pronounced dead at the scene, police said. No one else was injured in the incident.
The Independent Investigations Office of BC (IIO) has sent forensic investigators to examine the scene, collect evidence and speak with witnesses. The IIO investigates all instances of death or serious harm that may have been caused by police actions.
“At the end of the day, we need to determine whether or not the actions of the police officer were justified,” said Ron Macdonald, chief civilian director of the IIO.
The BC Coroners Service says it has also been notified of the death in Campbell River.
Mounties identified the dog killed Thursday as a seven-year-old service dog named Gator.
“Our dogs are valuable police resources that provide operational assistance on a daily basis, companionship for employees and act as community ambassadors for our detachments,” BC RCMP commander Dwayne McDonald said in a statement.
“Gator was no exception,” McDonald added. “Gator was involved in a variety of files including finding a distraught man in a snowfall and helping with the arrest of a knife wielding man who robbed a store.”
Since the incident is under investigation by the IIO, RCMP say no other information will be released to the public at this time.
Any witnesses who have not spoken with the IIO are asked to contact the agency at 1-855-446-8477.