A man who injured multiple people after he walked into the Bridge River Indian Band Office in Lillooet armed with a hammer has died.
Lillooet RCMP responded at 8:30 a.m. this morning (Oct. 14) to a call that a male had allegedly assaulted three people.
An emergency worker who didn’t want to be named said others in the office who went to help were also beaten.
Interior Health Authority spokesperson Michaela Swan said 10 injured individuals were taken to hospitals around the region — two have life-threatening injuries, two have serious injuries and six are being treated for non-life-threatening injuries.
According to the RCMP, before the police arrived, the suspect was subdued and restrained by band staff, but officers were unable to transport him because he lost consciousness and became unresponsive.
Police engaged CPR immediately, but resuscitation efforts were unsuccessful and the man was pronounced dead at the scene. The suspect was a member of the band.
Coroner Barb McLintock confirmed that one man died in the incident, but said it is too early to tell the cause of death.
Because the man died in police custody, the Independent Investigation Office (IIO) has stepped in and taken over jurisdiction of the investigation under the Police Act.
“The focus of the IIO investigation will be on the actions or inactions of the officers,” an IIO press release stated.
The release went on to state that standard investigative activities include locating and interviewing any witnesses and collecting evidence from the scene. The RCMP will maintain jurisdiction over any concurrent investigation into the actions of anyone who may have been involved prior to the death.
RCMP Cpl. Janelle Shoihet told the Herald via email that whether or not the deceased was conscious when police arrived on scene will form part of the IIO’s investigation.

There is no word yet on what may the motive of the attack may have been.
Anyone with information or who may have witnessed the incident is asked to contact the IIO.