Police say a man shot and killed by an RCMP officer in Surrey, B.C., died with a rifle pointed in the direction of a police car that had driven him off the road.

The rifle was a standard .22 calibre that had been made to look like an assault rifle, said Sgt. Dean Jantzen, of the Saanich, B.C., police, who have been brought in to investigate the Wednesday night shooting.

Jantzen said the dead man, Adam Brian Purdie, also had a replica handgun in the seat beside him.

But Jantzen also said investigators can't tell yet if Purdie, 28, fired the first shot.

RCMP reported Thursday  that the unnamed six-year veteran Mountie had shot back after being fired upon, but the force later backed away from that description, saying it was being left to the investigating police to determine the sequence of events.


Adam Purdie's Chrysler sits beside a police crusier after the Thursday shooting in Surrey. (CBC/Shane MacKichan)

Jantzen said Purdie's Chrysler was stopped by the Mountie in the 15400 block of 16 Avenue just after 11 p.m. PT after the the man's car hit another vehicle.

Purdie was known to Lower Mainland police forces and was said to have battled addictions for many years.

Purdie testified during his 2004 trial for attempted murder that he had pointed a gun at a man in the hope that police would shoot him [Purdie].

Purdie was sentenced to four years in prison after he was convicted in that trial of lesser charges.

An autopsy was scheduled for Friday.