Watchdog investigating police shooting at Royal Jubilee Hospital
VICTORIA -- British Columbia’s police watchdog is investigating after a Victoria police officer shot a man in the Royal Jubilee Hospital emergency room Monday.
Victoria police say the victim is being treated for non-life-threatening injuries.
Police were at the hospital for an unrelated call at approximately 5:30 a.m. when there was a report of a man with a weapon in the building.
Victoria police say a stun gun was used on the man before an officer shot him with a pistol.
Several Victoria police officers, including a forensic identification team, remained on scene at the hospital Monday.
The entryway to the hospital’s emergency department was reopened by 11 a.m.
The Independent Investigations Office of BC (IIO) confirmed to CTV News that it is investigating the incident.
The IIO's chief civilan director Ron MacDonald says he's not aware of another incident in B.C. in which someone was shot by a police officer inside a hospital emergency room.
"We'll be, of course, looking at all the evidence that's available, which will include what no doubt is quite a bit of video evidence from the area," MacDonald said. "Obviously there will be many witnesses, and we'll be talking with them."
The Victoria Police Union says it stands by the actions of responding officers.
"We have confidence our members have acted appropriately in this incident and believe the investigation will support that," said the union in a statement Monday.
"Our thoughts and support go out to the hospital staff that were subjected to this violent incident, being a witness can be very traumatizing and we hope they receive any needed support."
The union adds that it believes more support is needed for the municipal police force.
"We continue to call for more support from municipal and provincial officials as we try to address the growing issues and challenges related to mental health, homelessness and police resourcing that are greatly impacting our community right now," said the organization.
The IIO is asking anyone with information regarding the incident to please contact the Witness Line at 1-855-446-8477 or provide information online at iiobc.ca.
The Victoria police major crimes unit is also investigating the altercation.
Island Health says an internal review is also underway, as is protocol whenever a "critical incident" occurs at a hospital.