IIO investigating death of off-duty Surrey Police Service officer in Langley
WARNING: This story contains distressing details.
B.C.'s police watchdog is investigating the death of an off-duty Surrey Police Service (SPS) officer in Langley following a "serious injury that appears to have been self-inflicted."
The Independent Investigations Office (IIO) says police were called Wednesday afternoon to an indoor gun range in the Township of Langley — about 45 kilometres east of Vancouver — near the intersection of 98 Avenue and 201 Street, just off the Golden Ears Bridge.
Mounties told the IIO there was a man "reportedly in distress" there.
"The man, who was identified as an off-duty member of the Surrey Police Service, sustained a serious injury that appears to have been self-inflicted while police were in the building," the IIO said in a statement.
"The man was subsequently pronounced deceased."
The IIO, in its statement, included links to a number of mental health crisis resources.
Surrey Police Service confirmed the death and that the man was an officer on the force.
"SPS wants to acknowledge that the officer was part of our organization and chose a career in law enforcement to assist others," its statement read.
"We are working to support the officer's family and friends, including his SPS work colleagues, during this difficult time."
The SPS said it would defer the investigations and details to the RCMP and IIO.
Rick Stewart with the Surrey Police Union called it a "heartbreaking day" for the officer's SPS colleagues and former RCMP colleagues.
"Our thoughts are with the officer's family during this difficult time," Stewart said in an email.
Surrey Mayor Brenda Locke echoed those sentiments.
"It is difficult and tragic to hear of the death of any first responder," Locke said in an emailed statement.
"On behalf of Surrey City Council, we extend our deepest sympathies to the officer's family, friends and colleagues during this extremely difficult time."
SPS media liaison Ian MacDonald says the officer joined the Surrey Police Service in May 2022.
He also confirmed the officer was arrested and suspended months later.
"This individual, as a result of a Surrey RCMP investigation, was initially arrested on August 16th for an investigation that related to breach of trust," he said. "As a result of that, on the 17th of August, the Surrey Police Service suspended the officer with pay."
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