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.

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

Just Posted

Update from the medical community in Smithers, April 3rd, 2020

Local M.D.s grateful for public’s efforts during COVID-19 pandemic, urge continued vigilance

North District RCMP see massive spike in domestic calls

Connection to COVID-19 pandemic likely for reduced call volume, increased severity

School meals program continues

SD54 schools now providing bag breakfast, lunch and snacks for students and hampers for families

Skeena Bulkley Valley MP calling for halt on sport fishing licenses to out-of-province fishers

Bachrach and Courtenay-Alberni MP Gord Johns co-signed the letter to the Minister of Fisheries

Kitimat LNG Canada worker tests positive for COVID-19

The company announced the positive case to its workers on March 28

VIDEO: How doctors in Canada will decide who lives and dies if pandemic worsens

Officials in several provinces have been developing guides so that doctors don’t feel alone

Sex workers face new risks during COVID-19 pandemic

‘Desperation has kicked in’ for vulnerable, undocumented workers unable to access help

Unclear if Cowichan couple refusing to self-isolate will face penalty

No fines or charges have been laid to date, including Cowichan couple who won’t self isolate

COVID-19: Postponed surgeries will be done, B.C. health minister says

Contract with private surgical clinic to help clear backlog

Black Press Media ad sparks discussion about value of community newspapers

White Rock resident hopes front-page note shines light on revenue loss during COVID-19 crisis

Don’t stop going to the doctor, just do it virtually: B.C. association

Doctors encourage patients to access telephone, online visits

Businesses advised to prepare for federal, B.C. COVID-19 assistance

Canada Revenue Agency portal expected to open next week

Most Read