Man shot dead during RCMP call to Vancouver Island First Nations community

A man is dead and another in police custody after a police-involved shooting near Tofino. File / Global News

B.C.’s civilian police watchdog is being deployed after a man was shot and killed in an “interaction” with police in the First Nations community of Opistaht, near Tofino.

The B.C. RCMP says a second man was taken into custody.

RCMP say officers were called to a home in the Meares Island community around 9:30 p.m. Saturday “to locate a woman in distress.”

“When they arrived an interaction took place and one male was shot and another was taken into custody,” according to a police media release.

Police located the woman and took her to hospital for assessment.

The RCMP said it is investigating the initial call, including allegations the woman was being held against her will.

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The Independent Investigations Office, which probes all instances where police action or inaction may have resulted in serious harm or death, has been notified and will attend the scene Sunday, according to police.

Following the death, the Native Courtworker and Counselling Association of BC called for a “full open, independent and timely inquiry into the fatal shooting.”

“B.C. has the highest rate of police involved deaths in Canada, with 2020 being a record year for police involved deaths in Canada. These statistics show that Aboriginal people are shot by the police more than any other group in Canada,” president Hugh Baker said in a statement.

The fatal shooting is the second death of a Tla-o-qui-aht First Nations person in a year.

Chantel Moore was fatally shot by a police officer in Edmunston, N.B. last year during a welfare check.

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