British Columbia

Naverone Woods shot by transit police remembered at vigil

The family of 23-year-old Naverone Christian Landon Woods held a vigil Saturday in Surrey near where he was shot and killed by police Dec. 28.

Distraught 23-year-old shot in Safeway store after brandishing knife

Vigil held in Vancouver for man shot dead by transit police

8 years ago
Duration 2:05
Naverone Woods was killed in December after an altercation with police inside a Surrey, B.C., supermarket

The family of 23-year-old Naverone Christian Landon Woods — shot and killed in a Surrey Safeway store in December — continues to raise questions about the circumstances of his death.

Woods was fatally shot by transit police officers at the Safeway store at 10355 King George Boulevard​ shortly after 8 a.m. PT on Dec. 28.

Members of his family, friends and supporters gathered at the Surrey Central SkyTrain Station Saturday afternoon to speak out on his behalf.

Naverone Woods' sister speaks out for the first time

Woods' sister Melanie says her brother needed help.

"I think there could have been a different way," she said. "I think they were quick to act and if he was hurting himself like they said he was, it was a plea for help. Not to be shot."

She says what happened was unusual behaviour for her brother.

"I've never known him to be violent. I've never known him to have outbursts of any kind. He was truly an animal lover. He was gentle. He was kind. He was generous. He would go without so you would have something."

Woods' uncle Clifford Ryan says he'd like to know why police used the most lethal force option at their disposal when Woods was obviously distraught and acting irrationally. 

RAW: Surrey shooting victim caught on surveillance

8 years ago
Duration 1:05
Man, 20, was shot by transit police in grocery store after stabbing himself repeatedly

Transit police were called after Woods was seen banging his head against a wall at the Surrey Central SkyTrain station, Dec. 28. A short while later, a clerk at a nearby convenience store reported he had entered the store agitated and demanding a knife.

When transit police arrived they say they found Woods inside a neighbouring Safeway shirtless and stabbing himself repeatedly with a knife he had grabbed at the grocery store.

Witnesses say police told Woods to drop the knife. Police say he didn't and was shot while moving toward the police officers.

Woods was rushed to the Royal Columbian Hospital, but was pronounced dead soon after arriving, according to the BC Coroners Service, which is investigating the death along with B.C's Independent Investigations Office.

The vigil marks the two-month anniversary of Woods' death. Family and community members say they are concerned about the force used against him and are questioning whether race played a role in the killing.