Lethal force ‘reasonable’ in Campbell River 2022 marina incident: IIO

CHEK
Investigators could be seen attending a marina at Discovery Harbour in Campbell River on June 13, 2022.

The Independent Investigations Office (IIO) of B.C. says the Campbell River RCMP’s use of lethal force was reasonable in a situation at a marina in June 2022, because the man had threatened to shoot police while being armed.

On June 13, 2022, Campbell River RCMP were called to the Discovery Harbour Authority marina after a man shot and killed another, the IIO said in a report. The man then held two others hostage, before ultimately releasing them before police arrived.

When police arrived, the man texted a friend indicating he had intentions to carry out “suicide by cop.” He was in communication with police and threatened to shoot officers. The man ultimately died by shooting himself, at which point police began shooting at the man.

Previous reporting by CHEK News identified the man who was killed by the man as Ryan Langlois.

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Timeline of events on June 13, 2022

After shooting Langlois, the man took two people hostage on his boat. The report says the two were held hostage for approximately four hours, and when the first hostage was released, he called 911 at 1:41 a.m.

When officers arrived around 2 a.m., they spoke with the hostage who had been released and told them there was another hostage still being held, when officers went to attend the boat, they found the second hostage “walking on the dock, apparently in shock.”

The second released hostage said they had been held by the man “for hours” and that he was now alone on the boat. The second hostage said the man did have a firearm with him.

Officers were unable to see into the boat due to it being covered by a black tarp, but ERT members positioned themselves around the dock approximately 15 metres away from the stern of the boat.

Just after 5 a.m., police were told the man had texted a friend that he had a loaded gun and wasn’t going to come off the boat alive and he had “every intention of making police do the deed.”

Officers were then informed that the man had potential to attempt “suicide by cop.”

At 5:28 a.m., a member of the crisis negotiation team spoke with the man by phone, and the man said he would come out after he got dressed. At this point the man was described as “not confrontational at all” and “very collegial.”

The man then appeared out from behind the tarp, after an ERT member told him he was under arrest he then returned to the boat.

At 5:34 a.m. the crisis negotiation team called him again and he was then described as sounding angry. He said he had three guns and would shoot police.

He then put the phone down and began walking towards the dock and officers shouted “drop the gun.” When a gunshot fired on the boat, officers then opened fire toward the man.

IIO conclusion

“[The man] died from a shotgun blast into his head through the mouth, which was clearly self-inflicted,” Ronald J. MacDonald, chief civilian director of the IIO said in a report. The autopsy report also notes there were nine postmortem gunshot wounds to the man’s body.

MacDonald says the officers firing shots after the man died were reasonable because he had already shot and killed someone, was still armed, and talked of killing others.

“[W]hen he fired the single shot from his shotgun, it was reasonable for the ERT members, who were only several metres away, to fear death or grievous bodily harm and to respond with deadly force,” MacDonald wrote.

MacDonald wrote he does not consider there are reasonable grounds to believe the officers committed an offence, and no charges will be forwarded for consideration.

Laura Brougham

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