IIO Chief Civilian Director Ron MacDonald. (File photo: Tom Zytaruk)

IIO Chief Civilian Director Ron MacDonald. (File photo: Tom Zytaruk)

Police watchdog concludes Mounties didn’t shoot Fleetwood teen at strip mall

IIO finds tragic death of teenager ‘not the result of any actions or inactions’ by the Surrey RCMP

The Surrey-based police watchdog Independent Investigations Office of B.C. has concluded that the tragic death of a teenager shot in Fleetwood was “not the result of any actions or inactions” by the Surrey RCMP.

More than 100 people had gathered in a candlelight vigil last Thursday for a Surrey high school student who died from a gunshot wound at a Fleetwood strip mall after police were called to investigate a report of a robbery in progress on Oct. 8

“It was later confirmed that the caller was the same 17-year-old male who is the affected person in this matter,” said the IIO’s Chief Civilian Director Ronald MacDonald.

The teen died in hospital three days later.

Jackson Diggle, 17, was in his graduating year at North Surrey secondary school.

Shortly after the shooting, the IIO reported that it was called in to investigate after a teenager was seriously injured by an allegedly self-inflicted gunshot wound in a confrontation with police who were responding to a report of a robbery in progress in the 15900-block of Fraser Highway overnight.

READ ALSO FOCUS ON Surrey’s IIO: Keeping the cops accountable

The IIO said Oct. 8 that at 2:11 a.m. the RCMP responded to a call about a man with a knife attempting to rob people and when police pulled into a parking lot a man allegedly shot at the officer, who was still seated in a marked police SUV, before shooting himself. The Mountie was not physically injured.

The IIO issued a second information bulletin Oct. 16 that MacDonald had reviewed the evidence, “including independent video evidence from multiple cameras from businesses in the area,” which “conclusively demonstrates” that after the officer arrived at the scene, and before the SUV came to a stop, the youth fired two shots, both of them hitting the front of the police vehicle.

“Immediately after firing at the police vehicle, the video then shows that the youth turned the gun on himself. At the same time, the police SUV stopped before quickly reversing away from the young man. It is clear based on the video evidence that at no point does the officer withdraw or discharge their firearm,” the most recent bulletin reads.

“The officer remained in their SUV until a second police vehicle arrived less than two minutes later. Officers then approached to provide first aid and call Emergency Health Services.”

While the IIO’s investigation has concluded, the BC Coroners Service and Surrey RCMP investigations into the circumstances of the teen’s death continue.



tom.zytaruk@surreynowleader.com

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