One dead, as many as 10 hurt, in attack at B.C. First Nation Office

Credit: CP.

LILLOOET, B.C. — One man is dead and as many as 10 people are hurt, some with life-threatening injuries, after a man walked into the Bridge River Indian Band office near Lillooet, B.C., armed with a hammer.

Michaela Swan with the Interior Health Authority said that it is caring for two patients in critical condition, another two in serious condition and six others with non-life threatening injuries.

The injured people have taken to hospitals around the region.

RCMP said in a news release that they were called just before 8:30 a.m. Wednesday to a report that a man with a weapon was in the office.

When police arrived they found the suspect already restrained.

"RCMP members arrested the male but were unable to transport him as he became unconscious and unresponsive," the release said.

The officers started CPR, but resuscitation efforts were unsuccessful and the man was pronounced dead at the scene, police said.

Coroner Barb McLintock confirmed one man had died in the incident but couldn't provide further details. The B.C. Coroners Service was sending a team to investigate, she added.

An emergency worker who didn't want to be named said the man apparently attacked one person with the hammer, and when others in the office went to help they were also beaten.

Because the man died while in police custody, the Independent Investigations Office has stepped in to the case to investigate.

The police watchdog said the RCMP will maintain jurisdiction over the investigation into the initial attack by the man.

Bridge River Indian Band Chief Susan James issued a statement, saying her immediate concern was to ensure that the families involved in the tragedy were being helped.

"Our attention now will be on the healing work we need to do. This tragedy has put our community in shock."

Bridge River is a tiny aboriginal town located about nine kilometres northwest of Lillooet, in B.C.'s Interior.

The Canadian Press

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