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IIO investigating after man dies following encounter with RCMP near Mary Hill Bypass

One man dead after police incident on Mary Hill Bypass
WATCH: One man dead after police incident on Mary Hill Bypass

B.C.’s civilian police watchdog is investigating the death of a man in his 50s near the Mary Hill Bypass after an encounter with the RCMP.

The Independent Investigation Office says Coquitlam RCMP had been deployed to the man’s home on Sunday as a part of an ongoing investigation.

READ MORE: Coroners Service investigating incident during Mary Hill Bypass shutdown

The man wasn’t home at the time, but IIO Chief Civilian Director Ron McDonald said coincidentally, another RCMP officer who was conducting traffic enforcement spotted him about an hour later walking on the side of the highway.

McDonald said the man was apparently trying to enter other people’s vehicles, but would not characterize his behaviour as attempted carjacking.

Police watchdog investigates officer involved shooting in Surrey
Police watchdog investigates officer involved shooting in Surrey

“As a result of what the officer observed, he determined the male should be placed under arrest,” said McDonald.

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“There was an interaction between them. The details we’re still trying to figure out so I really can’t say too much about that,” McDonald added, but said a gun was not involved in the incident.

READ MORE: Port Alberni Mounties cleared in case of naked, bloodied man who ran into river and died

“Unfortunately during the interaction the male went into medical distress, and although life saving efforts were made both by the officer and [paramedics], he was eventually pronounced deceased at the scene.”

McDonald said the IIO will now work to determine if the officer’s actions had any role in the man’s medical distress, and if they did, whether the officer’s actions were justified.

The incident forced road closures between Shaughnessy Street and Pitt River Road for about three-and-a-half hours Sunday evening.