A man was shot and killed by police near the Victoria’s Mayfair Mall on Sunday.
Shortly before 10 a.m., Saanich Police found a man in the Douglas Street and Tolmie Avenue area after receiving reports that he had a gun and was suspected of making threats.
Numerous officers with the Victoria Police Department were stationed at block 3100 of Douglas Street, where they met and engaged in negotiations with the man.
Then, according to a press release from the British Columbia Office of Independent Investigations (IIO BC), an “interaction” then took place between the officers and the man, resulting in what was shot by the VicPD.
The man was pronounced dead at the scene.
No other details were given about the man.
The IIO, which is the independent civilian police oversight agency in British Columbia and is responsible for investigating all officer-related incidents that result in serious injury or death, is conducting an investigation into the incident.
Del Manak, the head of the Victoria Police Department, confirmed during a press conference Sunday evening that one of their officers shot and killed the man.
“I want to start by expressing my condolences to the family of the person who died this morning,” Manak said. “My thoughts and those of our officers and staff are with them today.”
Manak explained that shortly after VicPD officers arrived at the scene, they received reports that the same person was suspected of robbing a nearby liquor store with a gun.
“I understand it was a liquor store that was involved and this individual had entered the liquor store while he was armed, earlier before meeting with the VicPD,” he said.
Shortly before 11 a.m. Saanich Police said on social media that officers were trying to de-escalate and negotiate with a person in crisis in the Tolmie Avenue area on Douglas Street.
Meanwhile, a witness told CHEK News that they were driving down Douglas Street and saw a man with a knife in his throat shouting at police.
“I withdrew and the person was anxious, had a mental health crisis and it escalated,” Kevin Toffey said. “He continued for a long time with the police officers there. And they were negotiating with him, trying to calm him down. Went up and down with his emotions. “
What exactly happened during the VicPD interactions with the man who ended up with an officer who shot and killed him is something Manak said he could not enter at that moment.
“It’s really hard to get into the specifics and details when we try to maintain the integrity of the investigation,” he said, adding later. “The IIO will look at those details and determine if you know what the officers’ actions were in response to the subject’s conduct and the subject’s actions.”
However, Manak proved there were “less deadly” options before the man was shot by the officer.
“I’m not really free to start commenting on how few deadly options or rounds have been shot and how many shots have been fired by the officer,” Manak said.
Manak stressed that the officer involved is very experienced and very upset about what happened.
“The officer is quite worried. He is getting tremendous support and our sympathies and thoughts are with the man who died,” he said.
In the circumstances, Manak said he had “every confidence” that his officers handled the incident appropriately.
“It is extremely unfortunate that the situation had to be resolved the way it was resolved,” he said.
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