Saskatoon

Man dies on George Gordon First Nation after being shot by Sask. RCMP

The RCMP said officers from its Punnichy, Sask., detachment went to a location on the George Gordon First Nation Tuesday afternoon where a man with a rifle was making threats.

Police say man was armed with rifle and making threats

George Gordon First Nation is located eight kilometres south of the village of Punnichy in east-central Saskatchewan. (Guy Quenneville/CBC)

A man has died after being shot by RCMP on a First Nation in east-central Saskatchewan.

Saskatchewan RCMP say officers from the Punnichy, Sask., detachment went to a location on the George Gordon First Nation Tuesday afternoon where a man with a rifle was making threats.

"In the course of events, the responding police officers discharged a firearm and injured the man," according to an RCMP press release.

The man, whose identity has not been disclosed, was pronounced dead at the scene following life-saving efforts. 

Exactly what prompted officers to shoot is unclear. The RCMP, which initially reported the incident late Tuesday night, said it would not hold a news conference about the shooting on Wednesday.

The Punnichy RCMP detachment is pictured. Support is being offered to the dead man's family as well as the officers involved, the RCMP said. (Guy Quenneville/CBC)

George Gordon First Nation is located about 95 kilometres northeast of Regina.

Media were asked not to come onto the First Nation.

A community member said via text that a news conference is being planned. 

The Weyburn Police Service will investigate the shooting. In addition, the provincial Ministry of Justice will appoint an investigation observer (typically an ex-cop) to monitor the investigation.

In an added move — made in the wake of recent amendments to Saskatchewan's Police Act — a second investigation observer, who is of First Nation or Métis ancestry, will be appointed. This is now being done in the province when the person who died was either First Nation or Métis.

"I offer my deepest condolences to all of those affected by this incident," said Assistant Commissioner Rhonda Blackmore, the Saskatchewan RCMP's commanding officer. 

Support services are being organized for the family of the man as well as the police officers.

Tuesday's incident marks the first fatal RCMP shooting in Saskatchewan in nearly two years.

In August 2019, officers shot Lucien Silverquill, a 37-year-old Saulteaux man, at a home on Fishing Lake First Nation 

According to an RCMP statement at the time, officers from Wadena were called because Silverquill had a knife and was causing a disturbance. Shortly after officers arrived, at least one member shot Silverquill under circumstances that remain unclear. Silverquill died at the scene. 

A coroner's inquest has been called, according to Silverquill's family. 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Guy Quenneville

Reporter at CBC Saskatoon

Story tips? guy.quenneville@cbc.ca

with files from David Shield

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