British Columbia

Naverone Woods ID'd as man shot by transit police in Surrey

The step-brother of the man shot and killed by transit police in a Surrey Safeway store last Sunday says to his knowledge, Naverone Christian Landon Woods didn't have a history of mental illness.

Surrey transit police shooting victim identified as Naverone Christian Landon Woods, 23

Naverone Woods, 23, of Hazelton, B.C., was shot and killed by police in a Surrey Safeway on Sunday. After he was shot, Woods was taken to hospital but died shortly after arrival. (CBC)

When Naverone Christian Landon Woods saw his family in Hazelton, B.C., in early December, all was good, his step-brother said. The 23-year-old had just lined up full-time work in Vancouver and was looking forward to heading back to the city-life that he loved.

That's why Ed Patsey was shocked when he recognized his younger step-brother on the evening news as the distraught man who had been shot and killed by transit police on Sunday morning. 

 Patsey knew it was his younger step-brother from the surveillance tape at the convenience store and said he can't explain the bizarre behaviour in Woods' final moments. 

"I watched the news and knew it was him," he said. "No one contacted us to let us know and that's a horrible way to find out."

That's when Patsey frantically started making calls to his relatives in Vancouver to find out what happened. 

The shooting

Woods was shot by police shortly after 8 a.m. PT on Dec. 28, in the Safeway store at 10355 King George Highway. 

He was seen by witnesses banging his head against a wall at a Skytrain station and then a short while later, a convenience store clerk described him as agitated and demanding a knife.

Woods was next seen inside a Safeway shirtless and stabbing himself with a knife he grabbed at the grocery store. That's when police arrived and directed him to drop the knife, according to witnesses. When he didn't and moved towards the police officers, he was shot, police say

Woods was rushed to the Royal Columbian Hospital but was pronounced dead soon after arrival at hospital, said the statement issued by the coroner's office on Wednesday.

No history of mental illness

His step-brother Patsey says to his knowledge, Woods had no history of mental illness and if there were signs, none of the family members picked up on it.

Woods was originally from Hazelton and had done some work in mining and construction in northern B.C., but enjoyed living in Vancouver. He had a girlfriend who lived in Surrey as well as relatives in Vancouver. 

Patsey describes his younger brother as a nice guy, who liked to have fun, play sports and had a lot of friends. He said Woods would return home for visits and help out around the family home. When Woods came up for visits, the family doted on him, his step-brother said.

"We didn't like the idea of him going to Vancouver, because it's life in the fast lane but he liked the city life and so we understood."

The B.C. Coroners Service as well as the Independent Investigations Office, which provides civilian oversight of serious police incidents, continue to investigate the death.

With files from Terry Donnelly and Tamara Baluja