The Independent Investigations Office, the civilian-led agency tasked with investigating police-involved incidents resulting in death or serious harm, has been called to Nanaimo to look into the fatal police shooting of a man.

An area of Nanaimo near Norwell Drive. and Highway 19A is cordoned off with police tape.

According to an emailed statement from the IIO, Nanaimo RCMP responded to a report of a male carrying a knife in the area around 10.20 a.m.

The IIO said police located the man on nearby Country Club Drive where an encounter occurred and police fired shots. No other details of the incident were provided.

The man was taken to hospital but died.

Heard shots

Jay Kim, who owns the Good Neighbours Thrift Store across the street, said he heard shots around 10:40 a.m.

Kim said he saw a person trying to flee the scene as a police car chased him. He said the neighbourhood was quiet this morning when shots rang out.

"I heard three times 'bang, bang, bang,' " Kim said. "After maybe two, three minutes later, two ambulances and one fire rescue came."

The RCMP say there is no risk to the public but are asking people to avoid the area.

The IIO says investigators from its Surrey office are enroute to Nanaimo to conduct the investigation.

Potential witnesses are asked to call the IIO info line.

Map: Highway 19A and Norwell Drive

With files from Megan Thomas