Saanich police head to Surrey to investigate RCMP officer involved in fatal shooting

Half a dozen members of the Saanich police department are in Surrey investigating an RCMP shooting that left one man dead last Wednesday night.

The incident occurred after a uniformed officer conducted a vehicle stop just after 11 p.m. and noticed a firearm inside the car, according to an RCMP news release.

According to the RCMP, the driver fled in the vehicle and a chase ensued. The vehicle was spotted shortly after and police deployed a spike belt.

“A minor collision occurred between this marked police unit and the fleeing suspect vehicle,” according to the news release.

“Upon this collision, the occupant of the fleeing vehicle became engaged in a lethal confrontation with our uniformed member with what is believed to be an assault rifle.

“Multiple gunshots occurred which led to the suspect in this matter being killed and pronounced dead at scene.”

Saanich police Sgt. Dean Jantzen said detectives expect to be on the mainland at least until the weekend.

“Our detectives now have taken ownership of this file and are here investigating,” he said. “We’re conducting a very similar investigation as if this same incident happened in Saanich, and didn’t involve police … It’s not an internal investigation, this is the investigation of the incident.”

No police officers or bystanders were injured in the shooting.

The driver – who police said had what appeared to be an assault rifle and a handgun “within arm’s reach” – has not been identified.

Two investigators from Central Saanich police are also in Surrey assisting Saanich detectives.

A relatively new RCMP policy relating to police-involved incidents that result in serious injury or death requires an external investigation conducted by an outside police department.

kslavin@saanichnews.com

– with files from Surrey Leader

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