Vancouver police say an 82-year-old Canadian Tire customer was taken hostage and held at knifepoint during an attempted robbery Thursday that ended with the suspect being shot dead by officers. Police say the suspect stabbed a store employee and began taking firearms from the gun cabinets, then fled to the rooftop parking lot of the store at Grandview Highway and Bentall Street.
“As he came out the doors … holding this hostage at knifepoint, he was confronted by responding police officers,” Vancouver Police Chief Adam Palmer said at a news conference Friday. “When police tried to arrest the suspect, he stabbed a VPD officer multiple times, including in the head and the abdomen. Police subsequently shot the suspect, and he died at the scene.”
Both the police officer and the store employee are recovering in hospital and will survive their injuries. The hostage was unharmed. Suspect not identified Palmer said the BC Coroners Service will name the suspect next week but revealed the 38-year-old man was six foot one, 380 pounds, and originally from Alberta. Palmer added that a search of the suspect’s house turned up “concerning evidence of his possible criminal intentions, which will all be part of this ongoing investigation.” That investigation will continue, while the province’s Independent Investigations Office will examine the shooting itself. The IIO investigates any interactions with police that result in serious harm or death.
Palmer asked anyone with video of the incident to contact the department at 604-717-2500, and he defended the actions of his officers. “Officers used less-lethal and lethal force on the suspect. The person had stabbed a store employee and stabbed an officer multiple times,” said Palmer. “We tried to use the least amount of force possible to take him into custody, and when that was not possible, lethal force was used.”