Date: Wednesday October 13th, 2021

File: 21-41184

 Victoria, BC – An armed man was taken into custody early Monday when Patrol officers were called to a report that an armed man was firing a handgun outside a multi-unit supportive housing facility in downtown Victoria.

Just before 4 a.m. on Monday, October 11th, Patrol officers responded to a 911 call that a man was firing a handgun outside a multi-unit supportive housing facility in the 800-block of Johnson Street.

All available officers responded.

When officers arrived, they spotted a man matching the suspect’s description standing outside the building, firing what appeared to be a handgun while several people fled the area. An officer then watched the man put the weapon in his pocket.

Officers provided verbal commands for the man to raise his hands. The man refused to comply with officers’ instructions and instead placed his hands in his pockets. Both a bean bag shotgun and a conducted energy weapon were deployed. However, these were only partially effective. The man was then taken the ground by a responding officer where he was placed into handcuffs and searched. A compressed air-powered handgun and a knife were recovered.

Once in custody, the man told officers that he had used opioids and began to exhibit symptoms of an overdose. Patrol officers gave the man naloxone and medical care until B.C. Emergency Health Services paramedics attended and transported the man to hospital for treatment of the overdose and examination of potential injuries. He received non-life-threatening injuries which did not require further medical treatment.

The weapons were seized and the man was released with court-ordered conditions, including prohibitions from possessing weapons and a future court date.

In British Columbia, the decision to release a person is based on the likelihood they will attend court, the risk posed to public safety, and the impact on confidence in the criminal justice system.  In addition, Bill C-75, which came into effect nationally in 2019, has legislated a “principle of restraint” that requires police to release an accused person at the earliest possible opportunity after considering these factors. This is founded in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms that every person has the right to liberty and the presumption of innocence pre-trial.  Police are also asked to consider the circumstances of Indigenous or vulnerable persons in the process, in order to address the disproportionate impacts that the criminal justice system has on these populations.

This incident remains under investigation. If you have information about this incident and have not yet spoken with officers, please call the VicPD Report Desk at (250) 995-7654 extension 1. To report what you know anonymously, please call Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.