The Independent Investigations Office (IIO) is looking into a fatal officer-involved shooting outside a Surrey RCMP detachment early Saturday morning.
Around 2 a.m., RCMP responded to reports of a suicidal man causing a disturbance outside a building in the 1800-block of 152 St. that houses the South Surrey RCMP detachment and the Semiahmoo Library.
“A physical struggle took place, shots were fired and, as a result, the male is deceased. He did not survive his injuries,” said IIO spokesperson Kellie Kilpatrick.
Kilpatrick went on to say that an officer suffered a non-life threatening gunshot injury and is at hospital receiving treatment.
The BC Coroners Service has confirmed the identity of the man who died as 20-year-old Surrey resident Hudson Daryl Willis Brooks.
Neighbours report hearing a distraught man and the sound of breaking glass prior to the conflict. This morning, police discovered five vehicles that had their side windows damaged.
The IIO has taken over the investigation and is gathering evidence; interviewing officers and witnesses and gathering video and radio transmissions.
Saturday’s incident is the sixth officer-involved shooting under investigation by the IIO since April 1 and the second this week. On Thursday, the IIO was called in to investigate a fatal shooting in Dawson Creek.
B.C. Civil Liberties Association executive director Josh Paterson said police in the province have received more mental health and de-escalation training in recent years, yet shootings of people in apparent distress continue to happen.
“You can put in more training modules at police academies. How is that translating out into operations in the field?” he asked.
“Police are entrusted with the ability to use force and to use lethal force. With that comes a really high standard of accountability.”
Pivot Legal Society lawyer Doug King said B.C.’s police community must undergo the same kind of self-reflection that Toronto experienced when 19-year-old Sammy Yatim was shot by officers while holding a knife. He said Tasers can be a more effective tool to disarm someone.
“It seems we almost have a gap in our use of force techniques where it escalates very quickly to the use of a firearm, and the use of a firearm is almost always deadly,” said King.
– With files from The Canadian Press