RCMP and Island District Emergency Response Team officers were involved in shooting and killing a man at the Departure Bay ferry terminal in Nanaimo, British Columbia on the morning of May 8, 2018. Both the Independent Investigations Office of BC, the agency that examines cases of police harm to civilians in the province, and the BC Coroners Service have been called to investigate the killing.
Initial reports, which have not been independently and autonomous confirmed, suggest that RCMP officers were attempting to arrest a man who was suspected in a car theft in another part of the province. The vehicle was reportedly stopped and the man allegedly exited when he was shot by police. He later died of the injuries inflicted by police.
One witness, former Saanich mayor Frank Leonard, who was waiting to board the ferry at the time of the killing, told CBC News that he heard several, perhaps as many as eight, shots fired.
Another witness, Ed Pearce, a former West Vancouver police officer, saw the police operation unfold and also reported hearing as many as eight shots. He also said he heard a loud bang and looked over to see a vehicle being rammed by what he believed was an Emergency Response Team vehicle. He reports that he then heard a “huge explosion” that he said sounded like a flash or stun grenade. Other witnesses also reported hearing the loud explosion.