NANAIMO — Police confirmed officers shot and killed a suspect during an arrest attempt at the Departure Bay ferry terminal Tuesday morning.
Chief Superintendent Sean Sullivan said police executed a takedown outside the ferry terminal against a man allegedly involved in an earlier violent carjacking in southwest B.C. who was tracked to the ferry.
Sullivan said after the car was rammed, the suspect got out with what police believed was a weapon.
The man was taken from the scene and died for his gunshot wounds.
Sullivan said no officers were injured during the attempted arrest.
Witness John Athey told NanaimoNewsNOW the takedown and shooting was “just like a movie.”
“I saw police smash the car and turn it around. They jumped out and shot into the driver’s side window,” Athey said. “When the police jumped out of their car they ran right up close and fired into the window…I could actually see the glass coming off the window, it was unbelievable.”
Athey said based on the way officers reacted, he believed a shot was fired at them. He said he heard about six-to-eight shots fired by Mounties.
Madison Lee was sitting in her car at the terminal to pick up an aunt when she heard a bang and saw smoke beside her. She said her first thought was a car accident had happened, until she said she heard roughly seven gunshots.
“It was really surreal,” she said. “I didn’t think it was real and assumed it was a car accident….It’s crazy to realize it was gunshots only a few metres away from me.”
Ferry operations resumed as normal shortly after the incident, with the 10:40 sailing leaving Nanaimo about 30 minutes late.
The Independent Investigations Office was called to the scene. They investigate all officer-involved incidents that result in death or serious harm.
Ian Holmes and Spencer Sterritt