A man is dead after police officers used a stun gun on him following a lengthy pursuit through the Okanagan-Shuswap.
Shortly before 1:30 a.m. on Monday, Oct. 28, Kelowna RCMP received a report of an erratic driver on Highway 97 in the Lake Country area. Police were informed the vehicle was straying from its lane of travel.
Armstrong RCMP officers located the vehicle and attempted to stop it, but the driver continued on, allegedly just missing a police officer as it fled north. Shortly after, officers from the Salmon Arm and Sicamous RCMP detachments stopped the vehicle south of Sicamous. Before police could speak to the driver the vehicle fled once again.
— IIOBC (@iiobc) October 30, 2019
Next, the driver and vehicle were located by police in Malakwa at approximately 3:20 a.m. When officers attempted to take the driver of the vehicle into custody, he allegedly resisted. Officers used a conducted energy weapon on the man and handcuffed him. He then went into medical distress.
The 38-year-old man was transported to hospital in critical condition by emergency health services. According to the Independent Investigations Office of BC (IIO), he died on the evening of Tuesday, Oct. 29.
Police say the incident resulted in damage to two police vehicles. The IIO is also investigating the incident to determine how the man’s death is related to police actions. The police watchdog investigates all officer-related incidents that result in serious harm or death.
A notice from the IIO asks anyone who witnessed the incident to contact their witness line at 1-855-446-8477.
Since the man’s death, the BC Coroners Service has opened an investigation of their own.