An investigation is underway after a man was shot and killed by Tofino RCMP in Opitsaht. (Black Press Media file photo)

An investigation is underway after a man was shot and killed by Tofino RCMP in Opitsaht. (Black Press Media file photo)

Man shot and killed by RCMP near Tofino, police watchdog investigating

Investigation underway by Independent Investigations Office of British Columbia.

The Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation is mourning the loss of 28 year-old Julian Jones, who was shot and killed by police on Saturday, Feb. 27.

A statement released by the BC RCMP on Feb. 28 says two Tofino RCMP officers arrived at an Opitsaht residence around 9:30 p.m. searching for a woman they believed to be in distress.

“When they arrived an interaction took place and one male was shot and another was taken into custody,” the statement reads adding that one man remains in police custody.

An investigation into the shooting has been launched by the Independent Investigations Office of British Columbia and the Vancouver Island General Investigative Section is investigating the report that brought police to the residence searching for a woman allegedly being held against her will.

Anyone with information related to the shooting should immediately call the IIO witness line at 1-855-446-8477.

Police say no one else was injured in the incident and that the woman was located and taken to hospital for medical assessment.

Opitsaht is a Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation community located on Meares Island, roughly two kilometres from Tofino.

Jones is the second Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation member to be shot and killed by police within the past nine months. In June of last year, 26 year-old Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation woman Chantel Moore was fatally shot by a police officer conducting a wellness check at her New Brunswick home.

READ MORE: VIDEO: Names of Chantel Moore and George Floyd ring through Ucluelet anti-racism protest

“There’s a lot of anger,” Tla-o-qui-aht Emergency Preparedness Coordinator and EOC Chair Elmer Frank told the Westerly News Sunday evening.

He said that anger was expressed by Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation members through social media on Sunday and Jones’ family is asking their communities to be respectful and hold off on posting about their frustration.

“Right now what the family is asking for is just to back off on the social media posts. We know that everybody is angry and frustrated right now but let’s get through these emotions and just grieve with each other right now…It hasn’t been 24 hours yet, the family is wanting to just be at ease right now,” Frank said.

“They’re asking our community members to be respectful, to allow the process to happen and allow the investigations to go through and asking for that time to be able to grieve…They don’t want to place any judgement before anything is concrete before them in terms of investigation results. Right now they’re just asking for that time to be able to fathom the loss.”

He said Jones was known as a helpful member of the community who always acknowledged his family.

“He was very helpful in the community. He always had a willing helping hand. He was certainly a very helpful man for sure. Everybody has their challenges as well as this young man, but there was hope that they were going to get through them,” he said. “He was very close with his parents…They’re definitely suffering.”

He said the First Nation held a community meeting via Zoom on Sunday afternoon and is trying to support each other virtually.

“It’s really difficult because normally we would be there supporting families physically. Considering that the pandemic is holding us back, following all of the public health orders,” he said. “We’re trying virtually, we’re continuously having Zoom meetings and telephone calls with the families…It’s the toughest thing that we have to go through when we’re going through loss because everybody in the world wants to be with families and friends when they have tragic losses.”



andrew.bailey@westerlynews.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

READ MORE: All inquiry recommendations implemented after fatal Port Hardy RCMP shooting: Ministry

READ MORE: Four of 55 reviews into police shootings completed in 2020; one officer charged

READ MORE: Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation woman, 26, fatally shot by police in Edmundston, N.B.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Amiri is currently working as a parliamentary intern. (Christian Diotte - Special to The News)
Maple Ridge woman earns scholarship to study law in Montreal

Somaya Amiri, 23, awarded McCall MacBain scholarship at McGill University

Bat Packs are the newest addition to the FVRL Playground, and have everything you need to learn more about bats, and track them in your neighbourhood. (FVRL image)
Bat Packs at Fraser Valley libraries come with echometer to track bats

Packs are the newest part of the FVRL Playground inventory

Online guide expected to make applying for building permits easier. (The News files)
City of Maple Ridge launches new building permit application tool

Users can print or save their results for easy access

Dogs big and small on the patio at Witchcraft Beer Market and Bistro. (City of Maple Ridge/Youtube)
VIDEO: Maple Ridge businesses embrace new dog friendly pilot project

Pets can come onto a patio at a restaurant or enter participating retail spaces

A photo submitted to municipal staff on April 6 showing a beaver dam southwest of Chester Street. The drainage issues on the south side of the highway are the responsibility of CP Rail, as they own the property. Photo courtesy of the District of Mission.
Delegation of Silverdale farmers say land continually floods along Lougheed Highway

Beaver dams, siltation, fallen trees, bad ditching is sinking crops next to recently widened highway

Surrey RCMP are seeking the public's help to locate three puppies stolen from a South Surrey home on April 10. (Surrey RCMP photos)
UPDATE: 1 of 3 puppies stolen from South Surrey returned to owner

American Bulldog puppy recovered after being sold at Mission car show

(Government of Canada)
Liberal MP caught stark naked during House of Commons video conference

William Amos, in Quebec, appeared on the screens of his fellow members of Parliament completely naked

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature, Feb. 1, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 case count jumps to 1,168 Wednesday, nearly 400 in hospital

Now 120 coronavirus patients in intensive care, six more deaths

Moss covered branches are seen in the Avatar Old Growth Forest near Port Renfrew on Vancouver Island, B.C. Thursday, Sept. 29, 2011. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. blockades aimed at protecting old-growth forests reveal First Nation split

Two Pacheedaht chiefs say they’re ‘concerned about the increasing polarization over forestry activities’ in the territory

Everett Cummings in a tribute video posted to dignitymemorial.com.
Mechanic’s death at Fraser Surrey Docks leads to $200K fine for company, union says

Photos of rally outside Surrey court posted on ILWU’s ‘Kill A Worker Go To Jail’ Facebook page

Richmond RCMP Chief Superintendent Will Ng said, in March, the force received a stand-out number of seven reports of incidents that appeared to have “racial undertones.” (Phil McLachlan/Capital News)
‘Racially motivated’ incidents on the rise in B.C’s 4th largest city: police

Three incidents in Richmond are currently being invested as hate crimes, says RCMP Chief Superintendent Will Ng

Commercial trucks head south towards the Pacific Highway border crossing Wednesday (April 14, 2021). The union representing Canadian border officers wants its members to be included on the frontline priority list for the COVID-19 vaccine. (Aaron Hinks photo)
CBSA officers’ union calls for vaccine priority in B.C.

Border officers at ports including, YVR and land crossings should ‘not be left behind’

Most Read