The IIO released two cropped photos taken by a city of Kelowna employee just before the shooting.

Investigation justifies shooting of homeless man by Kelowna RCMP officer

Incident won’t be referred to Crown counsel for consideration of charges

An independent investigation has found a Kelowna RCMP officer should not face charges after shooting a homeless man in August 2017.

The Independent Investigations Office of B.C. found the police officer acted in an appropriate measure when she and a City of Kelowna worker were confronted by an angry man advancing toward them waving a large axe handle in a threatening manner.

“I do not consider that an officer may have committed an offence under any enactment and therefore the matter will not be referred to Crown counsel for consideration of charges,” stated the report, co-submitted by IIO chief civilian director Ronald MacDonald and general counsel Clinton Sadlemyer.

RELATED: RCMP officer involved in Kelowna shooting

The investigation focused on conflicting accounts of how the shooting unfolded based on interviews with the individual shot in the shoulder, a serious but non-life threatening wound, and both the police officer and city worker.

On Aug. 3, 2017, beginning at about 12:55 p.m., the police officer and city worker responded to a complaint of an unauthorized homeless camp near Duck Lake Road, finding a tent or tarp lined up against a large tree near a steep embankment.

As they neared the tent, they were approached by an individual carrying an axe handle.

Ignoring repeated requests by the police officer to drop the axe handle over about a 10-minute interaction, the police officer retreated until stopped by a wire fence. The shooting victim claimed he was using the axe handle as a crutch after suffering a spider bite on the side of his knee earlier that morning which required medical treatment.

After one final warning and voiced concern from the city worker that the man “was getting …too goddamn close,” the officer fired a shot from a distance of about 5.5 metres. The shooting victim had contested the officer used excessive force by shooting him, which could lead to charges of attempted murder, aggravated assault or assault causing bodily harm.

But the investigation found his account that he did not leave the area where his tent was pitched or advance on the police office were contradicted by two photographs taken by the city worker as the scene unfolded.

“The comments to (the shooting victim) by the police officer, as related by the (city worker), indicate the officer appropriately attempted to de-escalate the situation while at the same time protecting herself and the (city worker),” the report concluded.

“It was certainly reasonable for (the police officer) to conclude that this non-compliant and angry male with a significant weapon could easily cause her imminent grievous bodily harm.”



barry.gerding@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

 

Just Posted

Highway 97 rock slide north of Summerland beginning to stabilize

Costs of road work so far estimated at between $300,000 and $350,000

Free hugs? Kelowna students launch social experiment

Are all hugs the same? Some local students went out and measured.

No love for Warriors in Valentine’s day lost to Prince George

West Kelowna lost 5-2 Thursday to the Spruce Kings

‘The whole door was gone’ witness recounts alleged kidnapping at Kelowna apartment

Patricia Sawadsky looked outside to see numerous police vehicles surrounding her apartment

VIDEO: Canada’s flag turns 54 today

The maple leaf design by George Stanley made its first appearance Feb. 15, 1965

Former B.C. premier Gordon Campbell accused of sexual touching

Accuser went to police, interviewed by Britian’s Daily Telegraph

Syrian refugee responds to racism in Canada

Guest columnist Mustafa Zaqrit

Lower Mainland boy shot with pellet gun

Surrey RCMP believe Cloverdale pellet gun incidents are ‘linked’

Avalanche control planned tomorrow on Highway 1

The highway will be closed in the morning east of Revelstoke

Okanagan firefighters respond to emergency call for own member

Oliver firefighters found out who the call was for when they arrived on the scene

Valentine’s Day stabbing in Kamloops

A 21-year-old man is facing charges; the victim sustained non-life-threatening injuries

Judge rules Abbotsford home must be sold after son tries to evict mom

Mom to get back down payment and initial expenses

Drivers illegally passing school buses prompts safety campaign

School District #83 count 32 vehicles passing buses with lights flashing in January

Most Read