Six fatal police-involved shootings in Surrey in as many years

SURREY — There have been six fatal police-involved shootings in as many years in Surrey, with the latest happening in South Surrey this past weekend.

Police say they were responding to reports of a suicidal man screaming outside the Surrey RCMP’s District 5 station in South Surrey, in the 1800-block of 152nd Street, at about 2:30 a.m. Saturday. The man was shot dead during a struggle with police.

A police officer was also shot in the leg and the circumstances of her injury are under investigation.

Meantime the Surrey-based Independent Investigation Office of B.C. has been called in to investigate the fatal shooting. The victim has been identified as Hudson Daryl Willis Brooks, 20.

The IIO, set up in September 2012, aims to keep B.C. police officers accountable in cases involving in-custody deaths and serious injuries.

All told, since 2009 there have been 12 police-involved shootings in Surrey, with six of them fatal. Two were in South Surrey, four were in Newton, five were in Whalley, and one was in Guildford.

The first South Surrey shooting was in Crescent Beach, on March 23, 2011. Brendon Samuel Beddow, 23, was shot dead after police responded to a 911 call about a domestic disturbance at a house on McBride Avenue.

In Newton, on July 14, 2009, a Surrey undercover RCMP officer shot Kenneth Baines, 46, of Surrey in the head after he allegedly tried to use a stolen car as a battering ram. Police had been conducting surveillance in an alley at a warehouse complex in the 12600-block of 80th Avenue as part of a crime investigation when by chance they spotted a Honda Accord that had been stolen in Surrey that same day. The Mounties went after the car and say Baines responded by ramming one of their unmarked cars in an attempt to escape. A constable with two years policing experience fired his gun twice, hitting Baines with one bullet. Baines died the next day, in Royal Columbian Hospital.

Also in Newton, on March 2, 2011, Adam Purdie, 28, was killed during a gunfight with the Surrey RCMP at Highway 10 and King George Boulevard. A Coroner’s Court jury in Burnaby heard Purdie was shot 17 times, with one of his wounds being self-inflicted. An investigation by Saanich Police cleared the Surrey RCMP of any wrongful conduct in the shooting.

Police said Purdie had fired two shots from an AR15-style rifle after officers stopped his car with a spike belt. Purdie had sped away from routine traffic stop in South Surrey after police spotted the butt of his rifle, covered by a coat, on the back seat floor of his car. He had been sentenced in 2004 to four years in prison for assaulting a police officer, pointing a gun at an ex-girlfriend’s boyfriend and possessing a firearm without a licence. The Saanich Police investigation into the fatal shooting revealed Purdie was upset about breaking up with a girlfriend and had been within two blocks of her new boyfriend’s home when he hit the traffic check.

On Nov. 21, 2014 in Newton Surrey RCMP plainclothes officers opened fire on a car that rammed into two police cars in the 7100-block of Hall Road, behind the bingo hall. No one was hit.

On Oct. 10, 2009 in Newton a Surrey Mountie shot at an SUV that blew through the scene of a traffic crash police were investigating at 144th Street and 80th Avenue. Nobody was hit.

Like Newton, two of five police-involved shootings in Whalley were fatal.

On Dec. 28, 2014 Transit Police shot Naverone Woods, 23, of Hazelton B.C., at the Safeway grocery store in Whalley after he grabbed a knife, stabbed himself and advanced on police. He was pronounced dead at Royal Columbian Hospital.

On Jan. 17, 2014 a Surrey Mountie shot a suicidal and intoxicated man in the neighbourhood of 98A Avenue and 118B Street in Whalley after being called there to check on his welfare. The Mountie shot the man, 61-year-old Gaetan Gilbert Plante, after Plante took a shot at him with a 12-gauge shotgun at close range but missed. The Independent Investigations Office cleared the officer of any wrongdoing. On April 27, 2014, Transit Police shot at a man inside a vehicle near Gateway Station, but missed.

Also in Whalley, on Nov. 19, 2009 a Surrey Mountie shot a man in a car that nearly hit police during an armed robbery investigation in Whalley. The 32-year-old man, whose name was not released, survived. And on May 11, 2013 in Whalley a Surrey Mountie shot a man who allegedly threatened SkyTrain passengers with a knife. The officer tried to stop him with a stun gun before shooting him, outside the Scott Road SkyTrain Station.

Guildford’s shooting happened on Nov. 7, 2013. The IIO was called on to investigate a police shooting in Guildford after an officer with the Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit shot a man during a vehicle check at a strip mall near 108th Avenue and 148th Street. The wound wasn’t life threatening.

Kellie Kilpatrick, a spokeswoman for the IIO, noted that Saturday’s shooting in South Surrey is the sixth police-involved shooting the IIO has launched an investigation into since April 9, 2015, when a man was shot dead by police in Vancouver. The others happened in Burnaby on May 13 (serious injury), in Salmon Arm on July 3 (serious injury), in Port Hardy on July 8 (death), in Dawson Creek on July 16 (death). Surrey’s latest fatal shooting was on July 18.

tom.zytaruk@thenownewspaper.com

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