B.C.’s police watchdog has cleared seven Vancouver police officers in the 2016 fatal shooting of a man outside a Canadian Tire.
On the afternoon of Nov. 10, 2016, police responded to reports of a robbery at the store at Grandview Highway and Rupert Street. A man had tried to steal a rifle from behind the gun counter.
In a report released Friday, Independent Investigations Office chief civilian director Ron MacDonald said the officers acted in accordance with the law when they shot the man nine times.
The man, who was not identified, had stabbed an employee and one of the officers before spraying bear mace at the others. Both people survived.
Last year, the IIO petitioned the B.C. Supreme Court to get the full co-operation of the seven officers involved in the incident. The watchdog said two officers did not submit a statement or notes, which is within their Charter rights.
IIO investigators did receive statements from two witnesses, as well as surveillance and cell phone video from outside the Canadian Tire.
According to that footage, the man left the store with a rifle while spraying the bear mace. One officer used his Taser, but the suspect still managed to stab the second officer in the stomach while the officer was trying to restrain him.
What ensued was a number of shots fired by police, including rubber bullets from an ARWEN gun and nine bullets from two pistols.
Witnesses and police officers told the IIO the man yelled “Finish me off” a number of times.
The man was eventually arrested, and later died of his injuries.