The B.C. police watchdog agency says it won't be distracted by possible links between the hacktivist group Anonymous and a northern B.C. man shot to death by RCMP last week as it investigates the case.
Kellie Kilpatrick of the Independent Investigations Office said in an e-mail Monday that she was receiving a number of questions about Anonymous and other social-media posts related to the July 16 shooting in Dawson Creek, about 1,189 kilometres north of Vancouver.
"We are investigating the Dawson Creek case as we do all of our cases – focusing on the actions of the police officers," Ms. Kilpatrick said in an e-mail exchange.
She said her office's investigators have been interviewing witnesses to the shooting, which occurred outside a city restaurant after an information session related to the controversial Site C hydroelectric dam.
Earlier Monday, the B.C. Coroners Service identified the shooting victim as Dawson Creek resident James Daniel McIntyre, 48.
Police were called to the scene over reports someone was disrupting a meeting related to the project, which has been controversial within the First Nations community.
However, the man involved in that disturbance had left when police arrived and officers ended up in a confrontation with Mr. McIntyre at about 7:20 p.m.
"The information reported to the IIO was that the affected person had approached officers in an aggressive manner and when he did not comply with directions and commands, he was shot," the office said in a statement on the case.
Mr. McIntyre subsequently died in hospital.
Ms. Kirkpatrick has said that a knife was found at the scene.
Acting Dawson Creek Mayor Terry McFadyen said in an interview Monday that Mr. McIntyre was wearing a Guy Fawkes mask, representing one of the prominent conspirators in a 1600-era plot to blow up the British Parliament and associated with the Anonymous group.
A member of Anonymous told The Globe and Mail in an e-mail over the weekend that the officer shot "the wrong person" and Mr. McIntyre was attempting to comply with the officer's orders to drop a pocket knife before he was shot.
On Monday, a correspondent from the same e-mail address said Anonymous has set up a new Twitter account on which further developments will be posted. Asked about next possible steps, the correspondent wrote: "That would ruin the surprise and fun."
Asked about any possible role Mr. McIntyre played in the organization, the correspondent wrote, "Anonymous is not an organization, it is an idea. Anyone can be a part of that idea."
The Anonymous collective has claimed responsibility for taking the RCMP's website offline for several hours on Sunday, and has threatened to publish the name and personal information about the officer, as yet unidentified, involved in the fatal shooting of Mr. McIntyre.
The Alaska Highway News reported Monday that Mr. McIntyre was a dishwasher and cook's assistant at Le's Family Restaurant in Dawson Creek, but a member of the Le family declined further comment on Monday.
The Globe reached out to several McIntyres listed in Dawson Creek. Two hung up without comment. One said, "We have no comment at this time. Please respect our privacy and do not call again."
Mr. McFadyen said no one seems to know Mr. McIntyre, but that wasn't surprising because of a "shadow population" of residents who come in and out of the community of about 12,000 to 14,000, which is undergoing an energy-sector boom.
"It's not uncommon to go to Safeway or downtown and see people you don't know. That wasn't true 25 years ago, but it is today," said Mr. McFadyen.
He said he has lived in Dawson Creek for a quarter century. "I've been here long enough that I probably should have known him or the family, but I don't."
He said area residents are stunned by the events. "Nobody seems to know what his intention was," said Mr. McFadyen. "There was some sort of confrontation and he ended up on the short end of the stick."