A police officer in Victoria shot a man inside Royal Jubilee Hospital Monday morning after he entered the emergency department with a weapon.
Shortly before 5:30 a.m. on Monday, VicPD patrol officers were called to the hospital for an unrelated reason when they were alerted to a man inside the hospital who had a weapon.
According to police, officers encountered the man and first deployed a less-lethal conductive energy weapon, before an officer shot the man.
Const. Cam MacIntyre of the VicPD says the use of deadly force in the emergency room was a last resort
“It’s a very challenging situation for an officer to encounter,” said MacIntyre. “We have a person with a weapon, where a taser has already been deployed… we are in a position where we are discharging a firearm that is a high-risk dangerous situation. This is a high-risk place to discharge a firearm, but it’s also a high-risk place to be armed with a weapon.”
The man is now in hospital and being treated for injuries that are believed to be non-life-threatening. The officer involved was not injured.
Detectives with VicPD’s Major Crime Unit (MCU) are investigating the incident.
The Independent Investigations Office of BC (IIO) has also been notified and is currently conducting an independent investigation.
“Any officer-involved shooting is always looked at as one of our most serious cases,” said Ron MacDonald, chief civilian director of the IIO.
“Both because the potential loss for life and often there is usually loss of life. So we treat these matters very seriously and we will respond as quickly as we can and conduct as thorough of an investigation as we can to get to the bottom of what happened.”
No information has been released regarding the type of weapon that the man was carrying, but the IIO says this is a purposeful move.
“While we have some info on that, we still have many, many witnesses to speak to and we don’t want to taint any of their recollections before we speak to them,” said MacDonald.
The Victoria City Police Union (VCPU) says they firmly believe the officer did what was best in the moment.
“We have confidence our members have acted appropriately in this incident and believe the investigation will support that,” said the VCPU.
“As we’ve often experienced, officers are expected to make difficult split-second decisions every day on the job. Our thoughts and support go out to the hospital staff that were subjected to this violent incident.”
Multiple police officers were still on scene at the Royal Jubilee Hospital at 10:30 a.m. on Monday, and the entrance to the emergency unit has been taped off with yellow police tape.
This is the first time police have shot someone since a fatal officer-involved shooting at a James Bay home back on November 4, 2014.
Police are not releasing details such as the number of officers involved, the amount of time between the use of the taser and the shooting, or how many times the man was shot.
The identity of the man has not yet been released. No word yet if he will face any charges.