A young woman is in a Victoria hospital recovering from multiple gunshot wounds after the Ucluelet RCMP were called to the home for a domestic disturbance.
According to a statement released by RCMP, at around 5:12 p.m. on Saturday, May 8th, frontline officers from the Ucluelet RCMP were called to a report of a disturbance and a male needing medical assistance at a residence in the Port Albion community.
“Responding officers entered the home and encountered a woman with a weapon. Shots were fired by the police officers. The woman suffered gunshot wounds and was transported to hospital by BC Emergency Health Services. A male was also transported to hospital for treatment. No one else was physically injured in this incident,” reads the statement.
According to sources, the young women was put in a medically induced coma to better stabilize her condition and flown to Victoria for emergency treatment.
“I just finished cooking dinner for my family and went to cool off out front and then I seen two cop cars move in on the triplex,” said Hitacu resident Trish Miller. “Soon after I heard two to three gun shots, and it felt like just seconds later they were already putting the (crime scene) tape up.”
“More cops and ambulances came after, all happened so fast,” she added.
The name of the young woman is being withheld. Source have said she is Tla-o-qui-aht member, but this has not been confirmed by the First Nation.
Miller said the couple had been staying in one of the units of a triplex for a few weeks. During that time, according to Miller, there were plenty of interactions between the couple and the police, much of it domestic violence towards each other. According to Miller, the male had sustained injuries from a weapon in an assault by his girlfriend on the day of the shooting.
NTC President Judith Sayers said she has heard that the injuries the young woman sustained were not life-threatening.
“We are very concerned there was another shooting by police and hope for a quick recovery for (female). We will be overseeing the situation to make sure police are held accountable for their actions and that a thorough investigation is carried out,” she added.
Miller said that on Sunday, May 9, the community was holding brushing ceremonies open to everyone. She added that members of the RCMP were taking part in the ceremony.
If the young woman is in fact Tla-o-qui-aht, this incident would make her the third member of the First Nation to be shot by police in eleven months. Chantel Moore, 26, was shot by an Edmundston, NB police officer during a wellness check on June 4, 2020. Julian Jones, 28, was shot at his parent’s home in Opitsaht on Feb. 27, 2021.
The initial incident is being handled by Island District General Investigative Services in assistance to Ucluelet RCMP. The Nuu-Chah-Nulth Tribal Council has also been engaged, said the RCMP in a written statement.
The B.C. Independent Investigations Office is conducting a concurrent investigation into the actions of the police. As the matter is now under investigation by the IIO, no further information will be released by police.
The IIO is asking any person with relevant information to please contact them on the witness line toll-free at 1-855-446-8477 or via the contact form on the iiobc.ca website.