Jared Lowndes, who was shot and killed by Campbell River RCMP last week, is being remembered by family and friends as a doting father to his two little girls.
“He just was really gentle, he just had so much love for his daughters and he treated them like royalty,” said the girls’ aunt Fay Blaney.
Lowndes was fatally shot by RCMP last Thursday morning after he stabbed and killed police service dog Gator. Family members say he may have been trying to protect his puppy that was in the car with him.
“[The police dog] was jumping through his window and I think he was trying to defend his puppy and himself, and once he killed that dog, they opened fire,” said Blaney, who has been told Lowndes was shot multiple times.
Police had tried to stop Lowndes earlier on an outstanding warrant but Lowndes fled. His family says the warrant was more than eight years old and add that his experiences as an Indigenous man explain why he would have taken off.
“I would not want to be in that situation and I would make every effort to get away from them because you know what a danger the cops pose when you’re by yourself,” said Blaney.
Lowndes’s history is captured in an essay he wrote himself just a week before his death. In it he recounts a childhood of police run-ins, which he says started when he was taken from his mother at gun point and put into foster care.
Lowndes says he suffered physical and sexual abuse during his years in the foster system and was homeless by the time he was 13. He says he turned to drugs and alcohol to survive but had been sober for the past eight years. He had recently become homeless.
A campaign called #JusticeForJared now hopes to hold the RCMP accountable for a death that friends and family say was unnecessary and preventable and just another example of the racism they say exists within the RCMP and the community itself.
The Independent Investigations Office of BC is now investigating the shooting.