Indigenous man shot dead by RCMP near Tofino, BC

This is the second shooting death of a Tla-o-qui-aht member by police in the last year
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A Tla-o-qui-aht man from Tofino, BC was shot dead by RCMP in a residence on Saturday night, according to community leaders.

The BC RCMP provided a statement late on Saturday night acknowledging that two officers from Tofino RCMP attended a residence in the village of Opitsaht in search of a woman believed to be in distress.

Upon their arrival, one man was shot and killed and another was taken into hospital. The woman was taken to hospital for medical assessment.

The victim has been identified as Julian Jones, a 28-year-old Indigenous man, according to CBC.

Last week, the victim’s brother, Leo Jackson, wrote on Facebook: “Last night my brother Julian Jones was shot and killed by the Tofino RCMP on unceded Indian land.”

In a joint statement released Monday and reported by the Globe and Mail, the Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council, Pacheedaht First Nation and the First Nations Leadership Council said they want answers and an open and transparent investigation into Jones’ death.

“We are calling for a member of Nuu-chah-nulth to be involved directly in the investigation or to have oversight over the investigation,” stated Chief Don Tom, the president of the Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs.

“My understanding is the Independent Investigations Office (IIO) is open to that and I hope that they do take that recommendation to have that Indigenous person involved,” he added.

The IIO confirmed Monday that it will appoint an Indigenous member to monitor the case.

This is the second police-involved killing of a Tla-o-qui-aht person in the last year. 26-year-old Chantal Moore was shot and killed by the Edmundston Police Force in New Brunswick last spring.

“Their hearts are broken. Many are worried, many are grieving and some are still not over the death of Chantel. For police to attend and an Indigenous person to be dead is sad,” added Chief Tom.

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