Shooting investigation concludes not result of police action

The IIO has concluded their investigation into the death of Kyle Sheldon Thunderblanket, who shot a police officer in Golden.

The Independent Investigations Office of BC (IIO) is mandated to conduct investigations into officer-related incidents of death or serious harm in order to determine whether or not an officer may have committed an offence.

Details are now being released on the series of events that took place in Golden and Revelstoke last month, which resulted in an injured police officer and deceased suspect, Kyle Sheldon Thunderblanket.

The IIO (Independent Investigation Office of B.C.) has concluded there is “no causal connection between death of the male affected person and actions or inactions of police.”

The report laid out the events as follows:

“At 2:12 p.m. on Tuesday, October 11, 2016, RCMP were conducting a road stop and check on Highway 1 in Golden B.C. when a male driver exited his vehicle and fired shots at an officer. The male was also fired at and hit. The extent of his injuries at that time was unknown. The officer sustained non-life-threatening injuries. The male fled on foot and hijacked another vehicle, at gun-point, which he used to flee the scene.

“The male drove the vehicle in the direction of Revelstoke. At approximately 4:04 pm police located the vehicle nine kilometres west of Revelstoke and pursued the vehicle on the highway.

“Police set up a road block and deployed two spike belts in an attempt to stop the vehicle. The vehicle failed to stop and shots were fired by police. Eleven expended casings from police carbines were recovered from the scene in the vicinity of the spike belts; it can be confirmed one of the bullets struck the vehicle on the driver’s wing mirror. The affected person was not hit by any police bullets at this scene.

“The male continued to drive until he was out of sight of the police, 200 metres from the police spike belts. The police held observations at a distance of 75 metres for 41 minutes until the Police Emergency Response Team arrived. By then, the affected person had exited the vehicle, crossed the highway and made his way down a steep embankment. A police service dog was then deployed with no success. Police concluded the search at 11:42 p.m. when they set up containment around the forest.

“The search continued the following morning, and at 10:10 am, October 12, 2016, the affected person was found deceased, in a river. An autopsy was completed and attended by an IIO forensic investigator. The autopsy concluded the cause of death to be a head trauma consistent with an impact against a rock. The male sustained a flesh wound in the forearm from what is believed to be a 9 mm bullet. This wound is believed to have been caused by the first interaction with the officer in Golden.”

This report was compiled by nine IIO investigators who were later on the scene near Golden and Revelstoke. They interviewed civilians and officers who witnessed the events, as well as collected physical evidence from the scenes.

Given that he IIO’s investigation concluded that there is no causal connection between any of the actions of police and the death of the affected person, they will be releasing jurisdiction of this matter.