Shawnigan Lake RCMP officer shoots and kills man on Vancouver Island

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      The province's independent police watchdog is investigating a fatal officer-involved shooting that occurred on Vancouver Island the afternoon of November 10.

      "Officers from the Shawinigan Lake RCMP were following up on an assault investigation in the 1100 block of Mill Bay Road," an RCMP media release begins. "Members attended a home with the intention of arresting a lone male in connection with the incident. Upon entering the residence, the officers were met with a male who they indicate advanced on them with an edged weapon.

      "Members attempted to deploy a Conducted Energy Weapon (CEW) without success," it continues. "Shots were fired by police. The male was transported to hospital where he succumbed to his injuries."

      The release adds that the Independent Investigation Office of B.C. (IIOBC) was notified and deployed to the scene.

      It notes that no police officer or any other member of the public was hurt during the altercation, and states that no further details will be released while the matter remains under investigation.

      The Georgia Straight has maintained a database of police-involved deaths in B.C. since 2015. In December 2017, an update and review of that information found that people in B.C. are dying during interactions with police and in the custody of a law-enforcement agency with increasing frequency.

      From 2009 to 2013, deaths remained stable, at 13 or 14 each year. Then, in 2014, there were 16. Then 17 in 2015 and 18 in 2016.

      Eighteen deaths in 2016 is the highest number recorded for a single year in the database, which goes back to 2003. The second-highest number on record was in 2007, when there were 17 deaths.

      The increase was largely driven by the RCMP, which polices 150 municipalities across the province.

      In 2012, four people died during interactions with RCMP officers. Then seven in 2013, six in 2014, 12 in 2015, then 12 again in 2016.