Independent Investigations Office of B.C.

IIO investigates shooting in Granisle

The Independent Investigations Office is in Granisle investigating a police-involved shooting that ended in two deaths Thursday.

Two people identified by neighbours and relatives as 77-year-old Shirley Williams and her son Jovan are dead after shots were fired involving police on Thursday in Granisle.

Officers were called that afternoon to a dispute between neighbours involving a handgun in the village north of Topley on Highway 188, police said. They established a perimeter around the Morrison Street home and tried to contact the people inside.

“One person exited the residence and confronted police. Shots were fired,” said Staff Sgt. Rob Vermeulen, a senior media relations officer with E Division, in an online statement. “The second person exited the residence, confronted police and shots were fired.”

Paramedics who were already there rushed to the victims, but both were dead. No officer was hurt.

The Independent Investigations Office, which handles incidents of serious harm or death involving police in B.C., arrived Friday and were on scene just before 2:30 p.m. It has not provided any further information.

Lake Babine Nation mental health workers were near the scene Friday to direct mourners who had organized a vigil on Facebook, a bit farther from the scene to avoid confrontation with police.

Granisle fire chief and councillor Jim O’Farrell lives a couple houses down from where the shooting occurred. He said he heard three distinct volleys of shots, with the last only being one or two shots, on Thursday after getting home to see police vehicles and six to eight officers armed with long guns surrounding his neighbour’s home.

O’Farrell, who waited with paramedics to help before the shooting began, said there were unaddressed mental health issues with the mother and son. He said things only got worse when Jovan returned home last year.

Confrontations with a neighbour across the street escalated to the point where police were called Thursday, according to O’Farrell. He also said he himself had avoided Jovan after an earlier confrontation when Jovan accused O’Farrell of “staring” at him as he walked down the street and Jovan drove by.

O’Farrell added that Granisle was a small, quiet town not used to violence, where a dog escaped from a yard or teenagers breaking in for cigarettes and booze were usually the biggest concerns.

Just Posted

Town removes homeless camp at King St and Hwy 16

Four people lost their tents and belongings when the Town brought in heavy equipment last week

Salvation Army desperate for kettle campaign volunteers

Two-hour shifts available at four locations in Smithers

Town supports Legion’s application for liquor licence amendment

Council is reccommending the LCRB approve the Legion’s application for a Liquor Primary Licence

Council passes two readings of second-stage housing bylaws

The bylaws, if adopted, will make way for 12 Northern Society for Domestic Peace townhouses

Goodacre Place: a partial success story

Supportive housing development improves homelessness situation, but demand for more remains high

VIDEO: ‘Climate emergency’ is Oxford’s 2019 Word of the Year

Other words on the shortlist included ‘extinction,’ ‘climate denial’ and ‘eco-anxiety’

Three cops investigated in connection to ex-Vancouver detective’s sexual misconduct

Fisher was convicted in 2018 after pleading guilty to kissing two young women who were witnesses in a criminal case

Violence response procedures updated for B.C. schools, police

ERASE program expands to target gangs, bullying of students

A pawsitive ending: Missing puppy found after nine-day search in Chilliwack

Pit bull Frankie ran from dog sitter booked through app

Federal laws at heart of West’s anger up for debate, as Liberals begin outreach

Vancouver mayor to Trudeau’s western critics: ‘Get over yourselves’

Snowboard pioneer Jake Burton Carpenter dies at 65

He was diagnosed with testicular cancer in 2011

Teen developed ‘popcorn lung’ due to vaping: Ontario doctors

Boy went from being in perfect health to being on life support after just five months

B.C. judge tosses ‘N’ driver’s claim he was just using phone to decline his mom’s call

Distracted driving laws are more strict for Class 7, or Novice drivers, the judge noted

Most Read