B.C.’s police watchdog has cleared the Vernon-North Okanagan RCMP of wrongdoing in the death of a West Kelowna man deemed a public safety threat.
Days after the fourth gangland assassination attempt on 37-year-old Kyle Gianis, Mounties responded to a campground near Enderby at midnight on Aug. 5 for reports Gianis had stabbed two women. Witnesses told the Independent Investigations Office (IIO) of B.C. Gianis sustained self-inflicted injuries then fled in an RV.
Officers located Gianis and approached him using tear gas and 40-millimetre less-lethal rounds around 2 a.m. At 3 a.m., officers observed Gianis to be in medical stress and provided aid.
Paramedics arrived a short time later to provide further medical assistance, but Gianis was pronounced dead at the scene.
Based on the evidence available to the IIO, it determined Gianis’s death was not related to police actions or inactions.
Gianis was one of two men targeted in a July 31 shooting in Kelowna. It was the second attempt on his life in Kelowna this year, the first one coming in March when shots were fired outside of a gym.
Before that, the Vancouver Sun reported he survived a 2017 gangland hit in Langley that left his friend Tyler Pastuck dead and a 2018 shooting in which the assailant entered the wrong home, killing Surrey nurse Paul Bennett.
Following the most recent shooting, police issued a public warning about Gianis.
“Because of his criminal activities and associates, Mr. Gianis poses a threat to our community and the public in general, and we are putting all our resources into investigating this newest incident,” said Insp. Beth McAndie in an Aug. 1 news release.
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