Witnesses sought in death of man at hospital in Terrace, B.C.

Investigators were called in after a man with an axe died subsequent to police subduing him using a conducted energy weapon Aug. 18.

  • Aug. 20, 2016 5:00 p.m.

INVESTIGATORS probing the death of a man after he was subdued by local RCMP using a conducted energy weapon at Mills Memorial Hospital the afternoon of Aug. 18 are now looking for a key witness, a woman who may have been recorded the incident on a cell phone.

And they’re also looking for another witness, a man who was watching the incident through a pair of binoculars.

The incident took place outside of the hospital near its psych ward location and where a helipad is located.

“In situations like this, witnesses are very important,” said Aidan Buckley from the Independent Investigations Office (IIO) of BC which initially sent six investigators to Terrace last week.

That number increased to nine on the weekend.

“In a public area like a hospital there are a large number of potential witnesses,” said Buckley in explaining why, at the start of an investigation, it is important to have a substantial number of investigators canvassing for as much information as possible.

That’s particularly the case with hospitals which serve people from around the area, he added.

In a brief statement Aug. 19, the IIO said it was called in after an incident began when officers here responded to a report of a man wielding an axe who may have been attempting to hurt himself the afternoon of Aug. 18.

The call came from a woman at the hospital who said a man was walking toward her with an axe.

“Police attended, secured the area, and attempted to negotiate with the male in an effort to de-escalate the situation,” indicated the statement.

“A conducted energy weapon, similar to a Taser, was deployed and the male was apprehended but had suffered injuries for which immediate medical care was provided.”

“Unfortunately, the male later died in hospital. No other individuals were injured during the incident,” the statement added.

The witness contact number for the IIO is 1-855-446-8477.