Mounties who shot at a Burnaby man armed with a toy gun in 2015 used reasonable force, B.C.’s police watchdog says.
A report released Tuesday by the Independent Investigations Office said because police arrived on scene believing that the man had a real gun, they were justified in shooting at him.
Officers were sent to the 9300 block of Salish Court, near Lougheed Town Centre, on the night of March 2015 after a 911 caller reported that a man told her he would shoot her and showed off a black handgun, the report said.
The suspect told the woman to call police, before saying she “was not in trouble” and walking away.
The RCMP said because the man wanted them to show up, they were worried that he was looking for a confrontation, and so escalated their response.
When officers arrived, they found the man in a vehicle. They told him to drop the gun and leave the car.
Instead, the man pointed the gun at his head and stayed put.
Police told the IIO he pointed the gun at officers, causing police to shoot him.
The man was struck by multiple bullets before police took him into custody and he was taken to hospital.
After the first round of gunfire, police said they once again told the man to “drop the weapon” and when he didn’t, fired another round of shots.
The man then dropped the gun, got out of the car and fell onto the gun before dragging himself away from the weapon and putting his arms above his head.
An officer then ran to the man, handcuffed him and began to offer first aid and reassurance.
Once police searched the man and found just the toy gun and no other weapons, police removed the cuffs.
In speaking with the police watchdog, the man said he did not threaten the 911 caller.
He told investigators that when the police told him to drop the gun, he told them it was a toy and that he was unarmed.
“Guys just shoot me, I’m not causing a fight… I just don’t want to suffer anymore,” the report said he told investigators.
The report noted, however, that he said he was not suicidal at the time, nor did he plan to hurt police.