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

Penticton bylaw officers tore down a “pretty significantly sized” homeless camp underneath the bridge near Riverside Drive Friday, April 16 morning. (Brennan Phillips - Western News)
Penticton bylaw tears down ‘significantly sized’ homeless camp under bridge

Many residents had made complaints about the camp before it was torn down

Through their Simple Generosity campaign, Valley First has pledged to donate $1 million of community support to British Columbia communities in 2021. (Contributed)
Valley First rewarding Penticton families with innovative way to thrive together

Participants with ‘inspiring ideas’ will receive a surprise for their family, valued at up to $2,500

Elvira D’Angelo, 92, waits to receive her COVID-19 vaccination shot at a clinic in Montreal, Sunday, March 7, 2021, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues in Canada and around the world. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
110 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health

Provincial health officers announced 1,005 new cases throughout B.C.

Ryan Upson’s first BCHL hat-trick propelled the Vees to a 7-1 stomping of the Cranbrook Bucks Thursday April 16) night to improve their record to 7-1-0-0 in this abbreviated pod season. (Cherie Morgan/Cherie Morgan Photography)
Pentiton Vees bounce back with big win over Bucks

Vees score five in under five minutes, win 7-1 over Cranbrook

Black Crow Cannabis is just one of Vernon's many pot shops now open in town. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)
Kelowna has highest cannabis fees in Okanagan

Vernon’s 14 stores pay second highest business licence fees

Flow Academy is located at 1511 Sutherland Avenue in Kelowna. (Michael Rodriguez - Capital News)
Black Press Media Weekly Roundup: Top headlines this week

Here’s a quick roundup of the stories that made headlines across the Okanagan, from April 11 to 16

Vancouver Police Const. Deepak Sood is under review by the Independent Investigations Office of B.C. after making comments to a harm reduction advocate Sunday, April 11. (Screen grab)
VIDEO: Vancouver officer convicted of uttering threats under watchdog review again

Const. Deepak Sood was recorded Sunday saying ‘I’ll smack you’ and ‘go back to selling drugs’ to a harm reduction advocate

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry prepares a daily update on the coronavirus pandemic, April 21, 2020. (B.C. Government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infection rate persists, 1,005 new cases Friday

Hospitalization up to 425, six more virus-related deaths

Ford F-350s have been targeted in the North Okanagan by auto thieves since February 2021, Vernon North Okanagan RCMP data shows. (Gene J. Puskar - The Canadian Press/AP file)
Auto thieves target older Ford F-350s in Vernon: RCMP

Vernon Mounties remind all motorists no vehicle is immune to auto crime

The Nautical Dog Cafe at Skaha marina is getting its patio ready in hopes Mother Nature will provide where provincial restrictions have taken away indoor dining. (Facebook)
‘A lot of instability’: B.C. restaurants in layoff limbo

As COVID-19 cases stay high, restaurants in British Columbia are closed to indoor dining

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau looks on as Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland responds to a question during a news conference on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Expectations high as Trudeau Liberals get ready to unveil first pandemic budget

The Liberals will look to thread an economic needle with Monday’s budget

Royal Inland Hospital in Kamloops. (Dave Eagles/Kamloops This Week file photo)
RCMP intercept vehicle fleeing with infant taken from Kamloops hospital

The baby was at the hospital receiving life-saving care

Vernon North Okanagan RCMP were present at the McDonalds in Armstrong Thursday, April 15, 2021. (Tomer Joury - Facebook)
Police handle ‘high-risk’ situation at Armstrong residence

A woman was apprehended and taken to hospital under the Mental Health Act; no charges laid

Since April 4, 38 flights with COVID-19 cases have departed from Vancouver International Airport, while 23 arrived. (Phil McLachlan/Capital News)
Vancouver the largest source of domestic flights with COVID-19 cases: data

This month alone, 38 flights with COVID-19 cases have departed from Vancouver International Airport, while 23 arrived

Most Read