North Cowichan/Duncan RCMP officers have been cleared of any wrongdoing by the Independent Investigations Office (IIO) of BC in an incident in which one man died in late November near Lake Cowichan.
Police say that at around 2:25 p.m. on November 29th, they received a report that a man driving a black Toyota Tacoma had allegedly committed an armed robbery in Chemainus.
According to RCMP officers, they attempted to stop the vehicle twice but were unsuccessful in their efforts.
The truck was last seen in Duncan at around 3 p.m. that day.
Shortly after, at around 3:30 p.m., the vehicle was spotted driving by people in the area. They left the area and told police they didn’t hear anything suspicious from the vehicle at the time.
Police located the vehicle at approximately 4 p.m. parked on the shoulder of Highway 18 near Lake Cowichan.
According to RCMP officers, once at the scene they attempted to get some sort of response from the driver without approaching the vehicle unsuccessfully.
Police approached the truck at 4:45 p.m., a full 45 minutes after arriving at the scene. It was then they found the man deceased of what they determined to be a self-inflicted injury.
“The Chief Civilian Director has reviewed the evidence – including medical information and police records – and determined that police are not responsible for the man’s death,” said the IIO in a media release.
Now that the IIO’s investigation into the matter is now closed, all North Cowichan/Duncan RCMP officers have been cleared of any wrongdoing.
The IIO is a civilian run organization, independent from police organizations. They investigate the police’s actions and inactions anytime an officer-related incident ends in serious harm or death.