(KOMO News via AP)

(KOMO News via AP)

Bear-spray used as weapon in Kelowna Walmart

Eight bystanders sustained injuries

Multiple bystanders were believed to be the unintended victims of assault, after a shoplifting suspect turned violent towards a loss prevention officer in Kelowna last week.

On Aug. 1 at 2:40 p.m., members of the loss prevention and security team of Walmart in Kelowna reported that a male suspect, armed with bear spray, had discharged the canister at one of the stores loss prevention officers. The loss prevention officer was injured after he attempted to effect the arrest of a theft suspect, who allegedly left the store with un-paid food products, outside the stores main entrance.

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“Despite being assaulted, and while feeling the full immediate disabling effects of the bear spray, the 33-year-old L.P.O. managed to apprehend the suspect and keep him in custody until police arrived on scene,” said Cpl. O’Donaghey.

“The careless deployment of the aerosol weapon also injured 8 innocent bystanders, who ranged in age from 1 year to 61 years of age,” Cpl. Jesse O’Donaghey said.” The eight other assault victims, who were customers of the department store, were assessed medically by BC Ambulance Service at the scene for varying degrees of exposure to the substance.”

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The suspect, a 61-year-old Beaverdell man, faces numerous potential criminal charges related to the incident. He was held in police custody to appear before a judge.

Any witnesses who have not yet spoken to police are asked to contact the Kelowna RCMP at 250-762-3300.

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