The Victoria Police Department has been cleared of any wrongdoing in the case of Angus Mitchell.
Mitchell had his rifle returned to him by Victoria Police five weeks before he used it to kill two people and seriously injure a third in Burnaby.
Victoria Police seized the rifle after Mitchell paid a visit to a doctor’s office with it. He was assessed under the Mental Health Act but had the firearm returned to him after he applied to get it back.
The Office of the Police Complaints Commissioner concluded that the Victoria officers’ actions were “reasonable in the circumstances,” said Victoria Chief Constable Frank Elsner in a statement.
Elsner said the conclusion supported the principle that “the tragic outcome of any event cannot be used to define the conduct of police officers from the perspective of hindsight.”
After the incident, Victoria Police took immediate steps to improve firearms investigation training for all its sworn officers and made improvements to its firearms policy.
“We are committed to the new procedures that we believe will reduce the likelihood of a similar occurrence.”
Mitchell, 26, died May 30, 2012 after being shot multiple times in Maple Ridge by the RCMP’s Lower Mainland Emergency Response Team.
At the time, the former security guard was a suspect in the double homicide at Royal Oak Sushi House in South Burnaby of the restaurant’s owner, 36-year-old Burnaby resident Huong (Andy) Tran, and a female employee, Chinh (Vivian) Diem Huynh, 34. He was also the suspect in the attempted murder of his 51-year-old former landlord who was shot in front of his Gilpin Crescent house.