Xwisten First Nation band office, where 10 people were injured by an attacker.
Attack sends 10 people to hospital, suspect ‘restrained’ before police arrive
CBC News, Oct 14, 2015
The alleged suspect in an attack on a band office near Lillooet, B.C. is dead following a rampage that injured at least 10 people, RCMP say.
Lillooet RCMP say a man entered the Xwisten (Bridge River Band) office with weapons just before 8:30 a.m. PT. Wednesday and assaulted staff.
The Canadian Press reported that an emergency worker, who didn’t want to be named, said the man apparently attacked one person with a hammer, and when others in the office went to help they were also beaten.
Police said when they got there, the man had already been “subdued and restrained.”
RCMP members arrested the man but were unable to transport him as he became unconscious and “unresponsive,” police said in a written statement.
“RCMP officers immediately commenced CPR, which was continued by EHS who were staged nearby.”
Police say the man was pronounced dead at the scene despite efforts to resuscitate him. British Columbia’s independent police watchdog, the Independent Investigations Office of B.C. (IIO), has been called in to investigate the suspect’s death.
10 people injured
There were initially differing reports of how many people were injured in the attack, but B.C.’s Interior Health Authority said at least 10 people were treated for injuries. Two of them were in critical condition and were airlifted to hospital. Two were in serious condition and six others suffered non-life-threatening injuries.
Lillooet is a town of about 2,300, located approximately 250 kilometres northeast of Vancouver in B.C.’s Interior.
Band chief Susan James released first news of the attack earlier today in a written statement that initially reported four people injured, two of whom she said had been seriously hurt.
“A number of our office staff are being stabilized and transferred to other hospitals,” James said in the release.
“Our attention now will be on the healing work we need to do. This tragedy has put our community into shock.”
Witnesses told CBC News that they saw ambulances and a helicopter en route to the band office.
“As the police investigate, we will not comment on the details of the situation other than to say our prayers are with the families and the community,” James said.
Lillooet, B.C. Hammer Attack: Suspect Dead, Several Injured At Bridge River Band Office
By The Canadian Pres/Huffington Post, Oct 14, 2015
LILLOOET, B.C. – A man suspected in a violent assault at a First Nation band office in the British Columbia Interior is dead after an attack that injured 10 people.
Michaela Swan with the Interior Health Authority said late Wednesday that five of the patients remain in hospital, two of whom are in critical condition, two in serious condition and one dealing with non-life-threatening injuries.
Investigators stand inside the Bridge River Indian Band office where one man died and nine others were injured following an attack, near Lillooet, B.C., on Wednesday October 14, 2015. A man suspected in a violent assault is dead and 10 others are hurt after an attack that reportedly involved a hammer. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
“All the patients will remain in hospital until they’re medically cleared to go home. It’s really hard to speculate at this point in time,” she said.
“There certainly are some pretty serious injuries involved and we’re monitoring the situation closely.”
Swan said five other patients have been released from hospital.
RCMP said they were called just before 8:30 a.m. Wednesday to a report of a man with a weapon at the Bridge River Band Office near Lillooet.
When police arrived they found the suspect already restrained.
“RCMP members arrested the male but were unable to transport him as he became unconscious and unresponsive,” police said in a news release.
The officers started CPR, but resuscitation efforts were unsuccessful and the man was pronounced dead at the scene, police said.
The injured people have been taken to hospitals around the region.
Coroner Barb McLintock confirmed one man died in the incident but couldn’t provide further details. The B.C. Coroners Service was sending a team to investigate, she added.
An emergency worker who didn’t want to be named said the man apparently attacked one person with the hammer, and when others in the office went to help they were also beaten.
Because the man died while in police custody, the Independent Investigations Office is now involved with the case.
The office said it was notified of the incident about 11:30 a.m. and its investigators were slated to arrive later Wednesday, when they would examine the actions of officers related to the man’s death.
“Standard investigative activities include locating and interviewing any witnesses and collecting evidence from the scene,” said a news release.
The office said it would not provide any details about the man who died while in custody, nor release further updates.
It said the RCMP will maintain jurisdiction over the investigation into the initial attack by the man.
Bridge River Indian Band Chief Susan James issued a statement, saying her immediate concern was to ensure that the families involved in the tragedy were being helped.
“Our attention now will be on the healing work we need to do,” the statement said. “This tragedy has put our community in shock.”
Bridge River is a tiny aboriginal town located about nine kilometres northwest of Lillooet.
Sending Healing Prayers to every victim affected by this violent attack.
Watching for updates. Our hearts are heavy for our people.