British Columbia

RCMP officers fatally shoot man in South Surrey, IIO called in to investigate

The province's police watchdog has been called to South Surrey, B.C. after RCMP officers fatally shot a man early Saturday morning.

Mountie also wounded by gunfire during confrontation at RCMP detachment at 18 Avenue and 152 Street

An RCMP officer walks through the crime scene where the victim was fatally shot by police underneath the Semiahmoo Library in South Surrey, B.C. (Rafferty Baker/CBC)

The province's police watchdog has been called to South Surrey, B.C. after RCMP officers fatally shot a man early Saturday morning.

An RCMP officer also sustained a non-life-threatening gunshot wound, the circumstances of which, officials say, are under investigation. The officer was transported to hospital for treatment.

The confrontation happened some time around 2:30 a.m. PT in a parking area attached to the Semiahmoo Library at 152 Street and 18 Avenue. The building also serves as an RCMP detachment.

Insp. Mike Bhatti with Surrey RCMP said officers were responding to a report of a screaming male.

"Police officers attended, there was a confrontation, and the suspect male was shot and subsequently has died," said Bhatti.

The RCMP later described the victim as "suicidal."

Neighbour Andrea Taggart said she heard, from her apartment, a man yelling for help just before the shooting. 

"I heard someone calling for help and yelling, 'They're going to kill me,' and that's why I came outside," said Taggart. 

Taggart said she heard the man repeat his cry for help several times over the course a minute or so, as she headed toward the scene. 

Taggart said she heard the gunshots as she was approaching 152 Street. 

IIOBC continues to investigate the police-involved shooting of what officers describe as a suicidal man in Surrey, July 18th. (Rafferty Baker/CBC)

"There were six or seven shots that rang out in the time it took me to round the corner," said Taggart, adding that the shots came in separate bursts.

"There were three police officers, one of them leaning over, and the other two approaching, kind of bent over a body at the fence," Taggart said of the dramatic scene.

RCMP secured the crime scene and handed jurisdiction over to the Independent Investigations Office of B.C., which investigates incidents of officer-related deaths or serious injuries.