Two RCMP officers have been exonerated in the 2014 shooting death of Peter de Groot.
The 45-year-old West Slocan resident fired a shot at police on Oct. 9, 2014 when officers responded to an argument between De Groot and another person.
De Groot then fled into the bush, and three days after the initial encounter was shot and killed by an officer after De Groot allegedly drew his firearm.
The ensuing investigation by the Independent Investigations Office (IIO) took over three years to complete and concluded with two officers being cleared of any wrongdoing Thursday.
In a teleconference with the media, RCMP deputy commissioner Brenda Butterworth-Carr criticized the IIO.
“While the B.C. RCMP appreciates the challenges of complex investigations and evidence collection, the protracted nature of this investigation is unacceptable.” she said.
“This was a dynamic series of events that have forever changed the police officers involved, a community, and a family that lost a loved one. The techniques used and the resulting time delays in determining the circumstances compounded the trauma and severely limited the ability of many to move forward.”
Don Sorochan, the De Groot family’s lawyer, told the Star that the family will wait until the middle of next week to make a public statement about the decision.
More to come …