Taser use saves teen’s life

Ridge Meadows RCMP were called at about 6:45 p.m. Friday, after a teen threatened to harm himself, and fled from his home...

People are talking about two fatal police shootings: One Thursday night in Dawson Creek, followed by another early Saturday in Surrey.

In between, a Maple Ridge teen was tasered and arrested, in an incident scarily similar to those that led to the deaths of two men.

Ridge Meadows RCMP were called at about 6:45 p.m. Friday, after a teen threatened to harm himself, and fled from his home. He was quickly located in a creek area, in the 20800-block of 123rd Avenue.

Police say he was holding a large knife, and indicated he intended to harm himself.

“This was a very serious and tense situation. Police used their training and crisis-intervention skills to diffuse the situation,” said Sgt. Brenda Gresiuk.

“The conducted energy weapon, which is known as a taser, was used by a trained police officer, and the youth was safely apprehended.”

RCMP civilian spokesman Dan Herbranson agreed the teen had put himself in a situation where police might consider the use of firearms, because they have to ensure the safety of officers and members of the public.

If the Maple Ridge teen was complying with the officers’ orders, they would not have deployed the taser, he added.

The distraught youth was laying on the ground when the police used the taser.

“The less lethal intervention option used was very effective in resolving this incident,” said Gresiuk in a release.

“This is the best outcome police could ask for, as the youth is now getting the help he needs and no one was injured.”

The other shootings are under investigation, but according to media reports the victim in Dawson Creek was seen by a witness to be refusing to throw away a knife.

In the shooting in Surrey, outside the RCMP detachment, the deceased man was reportedly suicidal. An RCMP officer also suffered a non-life-threatening gunshot wound in that incident.