Man fatally shot by Dawson Creek RCMP not the person who made disturbance at Site C event
The man who made a disturbance at a Site C open house in Dawson Creek last night was not the person fatally shot by RCMP outside the building later that evening, say the Independent Investigations Office.
Video: Site C protester and shooting victim were not the same man
“The individual who was causing the disturbance left the event and did not come into contact with police,” said IIO spokesperson Kellie Kilpatrick at a press conference in Dawson Creek this evening.
“We know now that when police arrived in response to that complaint, they came into contact with a second adult male unrelated to the public information session.”
“The male came into contact with officers in an aggressive manner, and despite officers demands and commands, he was shot.”
The shooting happened outside the Fixx Urban Grill at the Stonebridge Hotel, while a public information session on the soon-to-be constructed Site C dam was being held by BC Hydro.
Previously in the meeting, a protestor came in and interrupted proceedings.
According to an attendee, a man flipped tables and tore display boards illustrating the dam from their stands before being escorted out of the room.
Curtis Pratt was inside and said he did not hear shots, but later saw the body. He said the victim was wearing a mask, and he wasn’t sure whether it was the man from inside.
Originally, the IIO believed that the masked individual RCMP shot and killed outside the building was “connected to the complaint.”
However, they say new information proved that not to be the case, and the man who caused the disturbance is fine.
“There are a lot of moving parts to this investigation,” said Kilpatrick, who said she was only told the original connection between the two incidents was incorrect when she arrived in Dawson Creek this afternoon.
There is no word on the identity of the victim at this time.
Kilpatrick did not have additional information about the protestor, but said “he never did come into contact with police.”
Her office is continuing to investigate the shooting. The officers involved have been sequestered, and it is not clear whether they will be charged, suspended or placed on administrative leave. The IIO also said investigators were not sure if the officers had tasers or other lesser means of force, which will be a key part of the investigation.
“That’s something our investigators have been following up on today. I don’t have the answer to that,” Kilpatrick said.
“What an officer carries on his toolbelt varies depending on officer location, detachment and the type of work they are doing.”
What is clear is that “police came in response to the disturbance and found themselves in contact with this other individual,” Kilpatrick said.
The IIO is asking anyone with information about what happened in the area to come forward, saying cell phone videos are of particular interest.
“In this day of social media, we aware that there is a lot of information circulating out there,” Kilpatrick said. “We’re very interested in speaking with anyone who has information about what they saw or what they heard here last evening,” she added.
WATCH: Witness captures Dawson Creek RCMP shooting on cellphone. Warning: Contains disturbing content and graphic language.