Nfld. & Labrador

RCMP officer involved in Grand Falls-Windsor fatal shooting, SIRT investigating

An officer was "involved" in a lethal shooting in central Newfoundland and the force notified the civilian-led investigative team Friday morning, according to its director.
A house on Monchy Road in Grand Falls-Windsor is taped off Friday morning following a fatal shooting involving a police officer. (Anthony Germain/CBC)

On a quiet street in Grand Falls-Windsor, Byron Boyd was woken up by loud voices around 3 a.m. Friday morning followed by "two pops" that he says he assumes were gunshots. 

A media release Friday from the province's serious-incident response team, a civilian investigative agency led by lawyer Mike King, offered few details about what happened other than an RCMP officer was "involved" in the fatal shooting on Monchy Street in Grand Falls-Windsor, and that the RCMP notified SIRT early Friday morning. The statement did not say how many died or when, or the conditions under which the shooting occurred.

Boyd told CBC News he heard an ambulance arrive at the scene a few minutes after he heard the noises. He said he looked outside and saw paramedics entering the home with their gear and four police officers on site. 

"The paramedics came outside to get more gear, went back in, and then a few minutes later came back outside," Boyd said. 

"At that point, when they don't bring anybody out of the house, you kind of start to think that there might be something wrong, something serious happened."

Multiple neighbours told CBC News they believe it was a domestic incident because they heard a woman yelling. They also say they heard more than one gunshot.

Multiple neighbours told CBC News they believe it was a domestic incident as they heard a woman yelling. They also say they heard more than one gunshot. (Anthony Germain/CBC)

Late Friday afternoon, a person who said she was a friend of a woman who lived in the house told CBC News a man broke into the house through a back window, armed with a knife.

CBC News is not naming the friend to protect the identity of the woman involved in the incident.

The friend said the woman living in the house suspected who it was and told her boyfriend to call 911. According to the friend, the boyfriend used a box spring as a shield to fend off an attack. When police arrived, the friend said, they used a Taser but were unable to subdue the man, and then shots were fired.

Grand Falls-Windsor Mayor Barry Manuel said the town's heart goes out to everyone involved in the tragic and "quite shocking" event. 

"With the investigation ongoing there's not much I can say other than this was a contained incident. We've been in touch with the RCMP, so there's no threat to public safety," Manuel told CBC News.

Byron Boyd says he was awoken by loud voices Friday morning that were followed by 'two pops.' (John Pike/CBC)

Manuel, who was born and raised in the quiet community and has lived there for the last 50 years, said Friday's shooting is an anomaly for the town. He said the incident has been the talk of the community, and is encouraging residents not to spread rumours. 

"Just make sure the information you have is accurate and credible. I'm sure the RCMP will do a professional and thorough job along with the SIRT team and more details will follow as this unfolds," he said.   

SIRT is conducting an independent investigation, "which is typical for any police-involved death," according to the statement. The RCMP and SIRT say they will not comment on any of the details.

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