Police watchdog exonerates RCMP in Bonnington death

Officer’s shots were justified, report says

An independent investigation has exonerated an RCMP officer in a shooting that killed a man in Bonnington in February.

The report (attached below) of the Independent Investigations Office (IIO) was released in October. The IIO is automatically called in when a police officer kills or injures someone.

The question before the IIO was whether the discharge of the officer’s firearm was “authorized, necessary and appropriate.” If it was not, the incident could lead to a charge of murder or manslaughter against the officer.

On Feb. 12, RCMP responded to a report of shots being fired in Bonnington. They located a pick-up truck they believed to be part of the incident, and, in a snowstorm in the dark, got involved in a chaotic scene described in some detail in the IIO report.

“As they approached the truck and engaged with its occupants,” the report states, “the female passenger exited and walked away. As she did so, she told the officers that the driver … had a gun. The driver reversed the truck, pulling [an officer] some distance before the officer fell to the ground. The truck drove backwards into a snow bank and stopped, but the driver was ‘revving’ the engine. The officer regained his feet and fired 11 rounds from his service firearm at the vehicle. One bullet struck [the driver] in the head, and he was later pronounced deceased.”

The report concluded the officer reasonably believed the driver was about to use the truck as a weapon and run him over.

“In these circumstances it was reasonable for [the officer], seeing the truck a short distance away, in forward gear with its engine revving, to fear that [the driver] was about to drive back at him, using the truck as a weapon to escape arrest. Based on what [the driver] had just done, in fact, that seems to be exactly what he was now trying to do. The threat was close, and the opportunity to evade it with any confidence on the slippery, snow-covered ground was minimal.”

The driver had a blood alcohol content of more than three times the driving limit, as well as positive tests for THC, cocaine and methamphetamine.

No details of the deceased man’s identity were ever released to the media or the public by the RCMP or the IIO.

The IIO report is attached below.



bill.metcalfe@nelsonstar.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

IIO-Bonnington-Death-2019-034-1 by BillMetcalfe on Scribd

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Two big housing projects planned for Castlegar

A mix of single family and multi-family units planned

Almost 20,000 parking tickets issued by Interior Health at hospitals in 2019

In 2018, pay parking in Interior Health hospitals totalled $5.3 million of their $2.2-billion budget

Women Care Castlegar offers funding to local charities

Women Care Castlegar is a group of community-minded philanthropic women

Castlegar residents living with dementia break silence on stigma

More than half a million Canadians are living with dementia today.

Rossland Council updated on cost of fixing arena

It will cost $700,000+ to get job done

VIDEO: Nickelback gears up for nostalgia tour

Canadian band joins Stone Temple Pilots for a summer tour that includes just one stop in Canada

Province asks health-care staff to be ‘vigilant’ in screening for possible coronavirus cases

This comes after U.S. health officials confirmed a case of the virus in Washington State

University of Victoria tells stories of Holocaust survivors with graphic novels

International storytelling initiative launched first meetings this winter

Boy, 13, arrested after alleged assault involving girl at B.C. middle school

Boy alleged to have used ‘inappropriate levels of force’ to injure the girl

B.C. player becomes only second Canadian to enter Hall of Fame of Baseball

Walker received 76.6 percent of the Baseball Writers of America Association vote

PHOTOS: Heavy snowfall breaks window, causing avalanche into B.C. newsroom office

It was a chaotic start to the week for the Kitimat Northern Sentinel

Canadian law firm launches class action on behalf of Iran flight victims

Flight 752 was shot down by Iran shortly after take off

Mission Hill cellarman fired after mistakenly dumping $162K of wine down the drain

The former employee filed a grievance with the West Kelowna winery but was unsuccesful

Most Read