SURREY, B.C. — British Columbia's police watchdog is investigating the deaths of a man and a woman following an overnight hostage situation and a police-involved shooting in Metro Vancouver.
The RCMP said officers responded to a home in Surrey around 9:30 p.m. on Thursday after a report of a man with a gun and a possible hostage.
Officers evacuated nearby homes and properties, set up a containment area and activated the Lower Mainland Emergency Response Team, a specialized group of officers and technicians that responds to hostage situations.
"Multiple efforts were made throughout the night and into the morning to engage the barricaded male and a female hostage within the home in order to peacefully resolve the situation," the Mounties said in a news release.
"At approximately 7:30 a.m. members of the emergency response team entered the home and a confrontation with the barricaded male ensued."
The man sustained a fatal gunshot wound and was pronounced dead at the scene, and a female victim was also located within the home with serious injuries, and despite medical efforts was pronounced dead at hospital, the RCMP said.
Police said no officers nor any other members of the public were injured.
The Independent Investigations Office of British Columbia, which probes police-involved shootings, was deployed to the scene to take conduct of the investigation.
Chief civilian officer Ron MacDonald said police fired gunshots at the scene, but he could not confirm the cause of the man's injuries.
The office will consider the possibility that police shot the man, he said.
"It could also be a situation where those injuries were caused by the man himself. We just don't know that at this point in time," he said.
The office also does not yet know the details of the woman's injuries or what caused them, he added.
MacDonald said it was his understanding that the female hostage was the woman who died and there was no one else inside the home.
The oversight agency will attempt to determine what caused the deaths, whether they're linked to police actions and whether the actions of police were justified, said MacDonald.
It will also explore the background of the relationship of the two dead individuals, he added.
"In any of these cases, we often want to try to determine what the background was, what brought these people to this situation," MacDonald said. "It can sometimes explain their actions that they may have taken with respect to their interactions with police. In that sense, it's quite relevant."
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