WARNING: This story discusses self-harm
An off-duty police officer from Surrey died from a self-inflicted injury in an incident at a North Langley gun range on Wednesday.
The Independent Investigations Office (IIO) confirmed on Wednesday afternoon that it has launched an investigation into the incident.
According to an IIO statement, police officers arrived at the scene on 201st Street, attempting to locate a man in distress. The site of the incident appears to have been The Range, a Langley indoor gun range.
“The man, who was identified as an off-duty member of the Surrey Police Service, sustained a serious injury that appears to have been self-inflicted while police were in the building,” said the IIO statement. “The man was subsequently pronounced deceased.”
Multiple Langley RCMP, fire, and ambulance vehicles converged on the area around 201st Street and 98th Avenue in Walnut Grove shortly after 1 p.m.
There were at least eight RCMP vehicles, two fire trucks, and an ambulance on scene by 1:40 p.m., and 201st Street was temporarily closed.
Langley RCMP Cpl. Craig Van Herk confirmed the officers had responded to reports of a distraught man at The Range.
It is with a heavy heart that we announce the sudden and tragic passing of an off-duty SPS member, following an incident in Langley earlier today. Our hearts are with his friends, family, and colleagues during this difficult time. Read full news release: https://t.co/87P0633vf3— Surrey Police Service (@surreyps) February 9, 2023
The Surrey Police Service issued a statement Wednesday afternoon.
“SPS wants to acknowledge that the officer was part of our organization and chose a career in law enforcement to assist others. We are working to support the officer’s family and friends, including his SPS work colleagues, during this difficult time,” said Ian McDonald, SPS media liaison.
McDonald confirmed the officer involved had been suspended with pay from the SPS on Aug. 17, 2022 due to a breach of trust investigation.
No charges had been laid against the officer.
“At the end of the day, let’s remember that there are the family, the friends, and the colleagues that are hurting from the loss of a human being,” McDonald said.
The IIO is an arms-length civilian unit that investigates any incident in which a person is seriously injured or killed during any interaction with police. That includes people who are shot or injured in a direct interaction with police, as well as people who are injured in other ways, such as in vehicle collisions after a traffic stop. The IIO looks into whether or not police action or inaction may have played in civilian deaths.
A message on The Range’s Facebook page said they would be closed for the rest of the day Wednesday.
If you feel like you are in crisis or are considering suicide, please call the Crisis Centre BC suicide hotline at 1-800-784-2433.
Some warning signs include suicidal thoughts, anger, recklessness, mood changes, anxiety, lack of purpose, helplessness and substance use.