B.C.’s police watchdog says it is investigating the death of a man on a highway near Prince George on Thursday.
RCMP said it notified the Independent Investigations Office (IIO) — which steps in to investigate when an interaction with police in the province ends with someone being killed or seriously injured — about the incident, which occurred at around 4:45 p.m.
In a release, police said they received a report of a man whom they described was experiencing a mental health crisis.
The man was located in a vehicle south of the scales on Highway 97, RCMP said, and officers contained the scene and stopped highway traffic.
“An interaction occurred between the man and police outside of the vehicle which resulted in the officer firing his weapon,” reads an RCMP statement.
“The man was shot and police provided medical attention until Emergency Health Services arrived.”
He later died of his injuries, RCMP said.
In a separate release, the IIO said it has started an investigation seeking to confirm details of the interaction between the man and police.
The highway has re-opened to single-lane alternating traffic, and traffic delays may continue through the night.
⚠️ UPDATE – <a href=”https://twitter.com/hashtag/BCHwy97?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>#BCHwy97</a> is now operating at single lane alternating traffic between Fifteen Mile road and Reeves Drive following an earlier police incident. <br><br>Please watch for traffic control and expect delays. <a href=”https://twitter.com/hashtag/CityofPG?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>#CityofPG</a> <br><br>ℹ️ For more info:<a href=”https://t.co/GDKWef68X1″>https://t.co/GDKWef68X1</a>
Earlier Thursday evening, the highway was closed between 15 Mile Road and Reeves Drive, according to a DriveBC update posted just before 7 p.m.
A line of more than 60 vehicles were observed along the stretch of highway south of Prince George, on the way to Quesnel. No detour was available.