B.C.’s police watchdog has been asked to investigate the shooting of a woman by police in East Vancouver.
The incident took place Thursday morning after Vancouver police responded to a call of a distraught woman with a knife at a residence in the 1100 block of Lakewood Drive, according the Independent Investigations Office. When police arrived, they were allegedly confronted by the woman on the street.
The woman was shot by police and then taken to the hospital by paramedics. Vancouver police have directed all questions to the Independent Investigations Office, but in a news release said the woman is in stable condition.
This is the 21st incident the IIO has investigated since being formed in July, 2012.
The IIO was notified of the incident by police just after 10:30 a.m Thursday.
A team of six investigators, including a forensic specialist, has been deployed to the scene, spokesman Owen Court said.
Mr. Court said that the IIO is only responsible for the investigation into the conduct of officers, and police are responsible for the investigation into the woman’s behaviour.
Mr. Court said it is not clear whether the woman was brandishing a knife when she was shot by police.
“That will certainly form part of our investigation. I don’t know the actual details of what the encounter was like, but we do know that the end result was that she was shot and is presently hospitalized,” he said. “Our investigation will clarify the exact nature of the engagement she had with police.”
It’s also not clear how many officers fired weapons, or how many shots were fired, he said.
The IIO investigates incidents involving police that result in death or serious harm, Mr. Court said. It is the responsibility of individual departments to report incidents to the IIO.