A suspected car thief was shot and killed by police on a busy downtown Vancouver street Friday morning.
The body of the man police believe was breaking into cars along Granville Street remained on the sidewalk outside the Salvation Army's Belkin House in the 500-block Homer Street for most of the day as police investigated.
Vancouver police spokeswoman Const. Jana McGuinness said police were first dispatched to the area after a call came in about someone breaking into cars. She said the call came in at 10:30 a.m. and when police arrived in the area they spotted a man who fit the description of the suspect.
She then said police had a situation where a man had a knife. She then said the officers on scene radioed in saying they needed help.
“They were requesting backup,” McGuinness said.
She would not say if the officers had Tasers, and would not speculate on why a gun was used to stop the man.
“There are a whole lot of questions I can’t answer right now,” said McGuinness.
The name of the victim has not been released.
The morning shooting shocked people who work in the area.
Maria, who did not want her last name used, said some of her colleagues watched the tragic events unfold.
“The police shot this poor guy down,” she said.
She said the man “had something in his hand and he stopped and turned and the police told him to stop and when he didn’t they shot him.”
One man who was paying a bill at the nearby B.C. Hydro building said he was surprised police opened fire in such a busy place.
“Why did they have to use their gun?” asked Vancouver resident Ken Smythe. “This is a very busy place to be shooting a gun.”
Police were expected to release more details later Friday.