British Columbia

Lillooet Bridge River Band attack leaves 4 people still in hospital

Four people are still in hospital following an attack at the Bridge River Band Office near Lillooet, B.C., yesterday that ended with the death of the suspect.

Police found suspect had been subdued by staff at B.C. band office

Staff inside the Bridge River Band office in Lillooet, B.C., gathered to talk on Wednesday night following the attack earlier in the day. (CBC)

Four people remain in hospital following an attack at the Bridge River Band Office near Lillooet, B.C., yesterday that ended with the death of the suspect.

Two patients remain in critical condition, one is in serious condition and one is dealing with non-life-threatening injuries, according to B.C.'s Interior Health Authority.

Seven victims have already been released from hospital.

Police are investigating the scene of the attack on the Bridge River Band near Lillooet. (CBC)

Lillooet RCMP say the man entered the band office with weapons just before 8:30 a.m. PT Wednesday and assaulted staff. Police have not confirmed any other details about the attack.

According to unconfirmed reports from members of the close-knit community who have spoken to the CBC, the man attacked one person with a hammer, and when others in the office went to help, they were also beaten.

RCMP officers who first arrived at the band office found the suspect restrained, unconscious and unresponsive, and despite performing CPR, the man died.

The coroner has not released the identity of the dead suspect.

British Columbia's independent police watchdog, the Independent Investigations Office of B.C. (IIO), has been called in to investigate the suspect's death.

Time for healing

Bridge River Band Chief Susan James said the community must now find its centre so healing can begin.

Lillooet Bridge River Band Chief Susan James says the community is in shock following the attack that left the suspect dead and 11 people injured. (CBC)

On Wednesday night, band members gathered around a fire, drumming and singing, to prepare for the coroner to remove the suspect's body.

James said band members can't comprehend the motive behind the attack, but are grateful because the tragedy could have been worse.

All the people injured in the incident were longtime employees of the band, she said.

Four staff members of the Xwisten (Bridge River Indian Band) office remain in hospital following the attack in the community of Lillooet on B.C.'s Fraser River. (The Canadian Press)


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