BRITISH COLUMBIA

New Westminster Walmart-Area Shooting Being Investigated By IIO

01/15/2016 04:55 EST | Updated 01/15/2016 08:59 EST

NEW WESTMINSTER, B.C. — British Columbia's police watchdog is investigating the shooting of a male by officers in the parking lot of a New Westminster shopping centre.

Acting Sgt. Jeff Scott of the New Westminster Police Department said officers responded at about noon Friday to a call of an unwanted male at the Walmart in the city's Queensborough neighbourhood.

"Through the course of the investigation, one male was taken into custody, and there was an interaction with a second male,'' said Scott. "That interaction with the second male resulted in an officer-involved shooting.''

Scott said the male who was shot has been taken to a local hospital with non-life-threatening injuries and a firearm has been located at the scene.

He said no bystanders were involved and police contacted the Independent Investigations Office, the body that investigates serious incidents involving police.

"There is a concurrent police investigation with our major-crime unit, and they'll be working in collaboration with the IIO,'' said Scott.

IIO spokesman Marten Youssef said the office doesn't usually release the ages of people involved. He said a team of investigators has been sent to the scene.

Youssef said investigators will conduct standard tasks such as obtaining physical evidence from the scene, interviewing civilian witnesses and designating and interviewing subject officers and witness officers.

"The IIO's preliminary task of the investigation will be to assess the level of injury of the affected person,'' said Youssef.

"If the injury is considered to be serious, the IIO will continue its investigation. If the injury is not serious, the IIO will release jurisdiction back to the New Westminster Police Department.''

Youssef said Friday's incident was the first officer-involved shooting of 2016. He said the last such incident happened in September 2015.

He said there have been 29 officer-involved shootings since September 2012, when the IIO was started.

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