British Columbia

Man dies after being shot by police on Vancouver's Downtown Eastside

A man has died after being shot by police outside a residential building in Vancouver's Downtown Eastside early Tuesday.

Shooting took place outside a residential building near East Hastings Street and Princess Avenue

Broken glass and blood were visible on the sidewalk at 561 East Hastings St. in Vancouver on Tuesday. Witnesses reported hearing shots fired around 6 a.m. PT. (Maggie MacPherson/CBC)

A man has died after being shot by police outside a residential building in Vancouver's Downtown Eastside early Tuesday.

The shooting happened outside the Grace Mansion building at East Hastings Street and Princess Avenue just before 6 a.m. PT.

A statement from Vancouver police said paramedics had called officers for assistance with a man who had "allegedly smashed the window to his room and was throwing large wooden objects out of the window onto the street." The man had been injured in the process.

"Before police arrived, the man had left his residence and went to the street with a weapon in his hand," Const. Tania Visintin wrote in the statement.

"Reports came in that this man was chasing people with the weapon and using it in an aggressive and threatening manner. The man was subsequently shot by police."

A broken window was visible at the Grace Mansion residence on East Hastings Street after the police incident early Tuesday. (Maggie MacPherson/CBC)

Christopher Campbell lives across the street at Union Gospel Mission and saw the shooting.

"[The man] picked up this sword ... and he started walking towards a female officer and then the female officer ended up bucking off like four shots, and another male officer on his left-hand side ended up shooting him again and that's when the gentleman ended up falling down," said Campbell.

"I figured it could have been a little less lethal, to be honest," he said.

The Independent Investigations Office of B.C. confirmed it is investigating. A spokesperson for the office said a statement is expected later Tuesday.

Police outside Grace Mansion hours after the reported shooting. The intersection was shut down for hours as police investigated. (Maggie MacPherson/CBC)

The IIO investigates any incidents involving police officers that result in serious injury or death.

Later in the afternoon, the Office of the Police Complaints Commissioner said it would also be looking into the incident.

In a statement, the office noted it begins mandatory investigations whenever municipal police officers are involved in an incident leading to death or serious harm.

"Officers may be compelled to provide statements, answer questions and otherwise account for their actions," it said in a statement.

The intersection has been shut down, with much of the area behind yellow police tape. A broken window was visible from the sidewalk below.

The area is expected to be closed for much of the day Tuesday.

TransLink has rerouted a number of its buses to avoid the intersection.

With files from Maggie MacPherson