Merritt RCMP ask members of the public for compassion after a fatal shooting earlier this month outside the city’s detachment. (Black Press Media files)

Merritt RCMP ask members of the public for compassion after a fatal shooting earlier this month outside the city’s detachment. (Black Press Media files)

Top Merritt Mountie asks for compassion after traumatic death

WARNING: This story contains references to suicide and may not be appropriate for all audiences

  • Dec. 17, 2020 11:00 a.m.

Kamloops This Week

Police in Merritt are asking members of the public for a little compassion after a traumatic suicide earlier this month outside the city’s RCMP detachment.

On Dec. 5, an armed man parked in a lot next to the detachment, got out of his vehicle and fired a shot.

When officers emerged from the building, the man pointed his rifle at them and they took cover. The man then pointed his rifle at an approaching RCMP vehicle, which retreated.

A short time later, the man turned the weapon on himself and died as a result of the injury.

“Sadly, a young man lost his life and our officers had to bear witness to this situation as it rapidly evolved,” Merritt RCMP Sgt. Joshua Roda said in a statement. “Our hearts hurt with his family and we hope that tragic incidents like this encourage people to reach out for help before it’s too late.”

Read more: Merritt RCMP cleared of wrongdoing after man shoots self near detachment

Read more: Merritt man who allegedly pointed gun taken down in high-risk arrest

An investigation by the Independent Investigations Office, B.C.’s arm’s-length civilian police watchdog, cleared Merritt Mounties of any wrongdoing in the incident.

“The public often has the perception that we, as the police, are essentially bulletproof — that we can go through violent encounters, witness horrible things that no one should ever have to see and then simply move on,” Roda said. “This could not be further from the truth.”

Roda said no amount of police training can prepare someone to witness unspeakable tragedies sometimes encountered by Mounties.

“Did most of us know what we signed up for when we joined the Mounted Police? Yes, of course we did,” he said. “But that does not make it any easier to deal with.

“As police, we witness and encounter horrendous things daily and often deal with people on the worst day of their lives. It’s not an easy task and it takes its toll mentally on every police officer that has sworn to serve and protect,” Roda said.

“We are proud of the supports that are available to our police officers and all employees who, unfortunately, are directly involved in high-stress critical incidents or struggle with the everyday stressors and pressures inherent with policing.”

If you feel like you are in crisis or are considering suicide, please call the Crisis Centre BC suicide hotline at 1-800-784-2433.

Other resources include: Canada Suicide Prevention Service at Toll free: 1-833-456-4566. You can also text 45645 or visit the online chat service at crisisservicescanada.ca.

Some warning signs include suicidal thoughts, anger, recklessness, mood changes, anxiety, lack of purpose, helplessness and substance use.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

RCMPsuicide

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Justin Kripps of Summerland and his team have competed in Olympic action and World Cup competitions in bobsleigh. (Jason Ransom-Canadian Olympic Comittee).
QUIZ: Are you ready for some winter sports?

It’s cold outside, but there are plenty of recreation opportunities in the winter months

Half of the most expensive homes are on 2080 Mackenzie Crt, which is across the street from Revelstoke Mountain Resort. (Liam Harrap/Revelstoke Review)
The 10 most valuable homes in Revelstoke for 2020

Combined, the properties are worth more than $35M

A map released by the BCCDC on Jan. 15 shows the number of new COVID-19 cases reported for each local health area between Jan. 3 and 9. (BCCDC Image)
Salmon Arm and Vernon see increase in new COVID cases, curve flattening elsewhere

The rate of new cases is levelling off in Kelowna, Penticton and Revelstoke.

Snowboarders at Revelstoke Mountain Resort heading for the gondola. (Liam Harrap/Revelstoke Review)
Updated: Another 16 COVID-19 cases for Revelstoke

The cases were identified between Jan. 3 and 9

Interior Health update. File photo.
86 new COVID-19 cases, two more deaths in Interior Health

The new deaths are from Heritage Square, a long-term care facility in Vernon

Keith the curious kitten is seen on Nov. 4, 2020 at the Chilliwack SPCA. Friday, Jan. 22, 2021 is Answer Your Cat’s Questions Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Jan. 17 to 23

Answer Your Cat’s Questions Day, Pie Day and International Sweatpants Day are all coming up this week

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
COVID-19: Provinces work on revised plans as Pfizer-BioNTech shipments to slow down

Anita Anand said she understands and shares Canadians’ concerns about the drug company’s decision

Tourists take photographs outside the British Columbia Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Friday August 26, 2011. A coalition of British Columbia tourism industry groups is urging the provincial government to not pursue plans to ban domestic travel to fight the spread of COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. travel ban will harm struggling tourism sector, says industry coalition

B.C. government would have to show evidence a travel ban is necessary

(Phil McLachlan - Capital News)
‘Targeted’ shooting in Coquitlam leaves woman in hospital

The woman suffered non-life threatening injuries in what police believe to be a targeted shooting Saturday morning

The organizer of a Kelowna protest against COVID-19 restrictions was fined by the RCMP for the third time Saturday, Jan. 16, 2021. (File photo)
COVID-19: Organizer of Kelowna anti-restriction protest ticketed for third time

The individual’s latest ticket for $2,300 was handed out by RCMP at an anti-lockdown rally Saturday

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Mount Boucherie Secondary School is one of three Kelowna schools with confirmed cases of COVID-19, according to an update from the school district Saturday, Jan. 16, 2021. (File photo)
COVID-19 confirmed at 3 Kelowna schools

Interior Health has confirmed exposures at Mount Boucherie, Springvalley and South Rutland schools

Lake Country native Evan-Riley Brown is in the cast for the new film Journey To Royal: A WW II Rescue Mission to be released on video on demand and streaming services on Feb. 2. (Contributed)
Okanagan actor lands role in WW II movie

Evan-Riley Brown, from Lake Country, cast in production labelled as hybrid of a feature film and documentary called Journey To Royal: a WW II Rescue Mission.

JaHyung Lee, “Canada’s oldest senior” at 110 years old, received his first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine on Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021. He lives at Amenida Seniors Community in Newton. (Submitted photo: Amenida Seniors Community)

Most Read