A man whose home was the centre of a major police standoff in Oliver in April has died, according to the Oliver Daily News.
Thomas Szajko is also the recipient of a medal of bravery from the Governor General, after he ran into a building on fire to wake up five people inside. They later returned to the burning building to retrieve one final victim, according to archived transcripts from the House of Commons in 1995.
The Oliver Daily News reported Szajko’s death Monday afternoon, but have not indicated a cause of death — RCMP have reportedly referred the file to the B.C. Coroner’s Service.
The Western News has reached out to Cpl. Dan Moskaluk, but have yet to receive confirmation of Szajko’s death.
Szajko was the victim of a gunshot, allegedly from Afshin Maleki Ighani, in Oliver on April 19 this year, which led to police surrounding Szajko’s home, where Ighani was believed to be holed up in a travel trailer.
Szajko was also later charged with assault in an alleged domestic incident just a few days later, according to court documents.
Ighani has a lengthy history with crime dating back to at least 1999, and he has twice been ordered deported.
In the days following the shooting, Ighani was arrested after a lengthy manhunt that stretched from Okanagan Falls, down to the Princeton, where he was found to be in a trailer park.
Ighani had allegedly kicked a man out of his vehicle, taking a woman with him and driving away.
Ighani’s next court date is set for Dec. 18.