Man shoots himself in Grand Forks hospital emergency room

The head of the BC Nurses' Union says he had walked through the ambulance bay and pulled out the gun

  • Jan. 13, 2017 3:00 p.m.

Boundary Hospital Community Health Centre

A man walked in through ambulance bay in at a hospital in Grand Forks on Thursday, pulled a gun and shot himself in the head, said the president of the B.C. Nurses Union.

Speaking at a news conference Friday in Burnaby, Gayle Duteil said the man was airlifted from Boundary District Hospital to a hospital in Vancouver.

B.C. RCMP have issued a press release confirming the incident. According to police, no one else at the hospital was injured and the man is in “stable” condition.

“Our police officers responded very quickly,” says Corporal Janelle Shoihet, Media Relations officer for the BC RCMP said in a press release. “We recognize this was quite a traumatic event for those who witnessed it. However, I can confirm there was no additional risk to public.”

A spokesperson for Interior Health confirmed the incident took place at the hospital at 5:50 p.m. on Thursday evening.

“The incident took place inside the ambulance entrance to our emergency department,” said Karen Bloemink, IH Executive Director for Hospitals and Community Integrated Services for Interior Health East. “The incident involved  one individual, a non-staff member that shot themselves. This individual was  treated inititally in Grand Forks at the Boundary Hospital and then was transported to a  higher level of care.”

Bloemink said support efforts have begun for the effected staff and physicians and will continue throughout the weekend and for “as long as they need.”

“Our thoughts are with the individual and his family, and at no time were staff, physicians or patients directly threatened by the individual,” Bloemink said. “This was a traumatic and tragic incident and we are incredibly concerned for the affected staff and physicians who were on duty at the time.”

Duteil applauded nurses and staff for their actions, but said it highlights the growing concern of violence and weapons in emergency rooms around the province.

“Who would have thought Grand Forks would have a shooting in their emergency department?” she said. “Every nurse in this province deserves a safe workplace, and we’re going to do more to provide that.”

Duteil said the hospital staff who were involved are “extremely distraught.”

“Unfortunately, this is just the tip of the iceberg. There is nothing protecting our members and other front-line staff from this sort of violence. I fear that the problem is only going to get worse.”

She called on the province to “step up” in providing resources to make this happen.

Police have said no further information will be released at this time and RCMP Victim Services will be providing support to members of the family as well as hospital staff and witnesses. Any witnesses who have information are asked to call the Grand Forks RCMP at 250-442-8288.

Just Posted

Proposals due for youth-led Boundary projects

$15,000 available for youth-led community betterment projects in the Boundary

Latest round of Columbia River Treaty talks wrap up in Cranbrook

Federal, provincial, U.S. and Indigenous representatives recently met for eight round of discussions

Grand Forks fire department investigation costs released

The department also invested in new hoses and protective equiment

Cannabis beverages to be bottled in Bridesville

Vancouver-based BevCanna also plans on growing cannabis nearby

Cops for Kids stop for borscht in Grand Forks

Volunteers from the USCC worked for hours to make the soup for the hungry riders

VIDEO: Liberals make child care pledge, Greens unveil platform on Day 6 of campaign

Green party leader Elizabeth May unveils her party’s platform in Toronto

Canucks sign Brock Boeser to three-year, US$17.6-million deal

Young sniper will be in Vancouver Tuesday

B.C. forest industry looks to a high-technology future

Restructuring similar to Europe 15 years ago, executive says

RCMP conclude investigation into 2017 Elephant Hill wildfire

Files have been turned over to BC Prosecution Service

B.C. wants to be part of global resolution in opioid company bankruptcy claim

Government says settlement must include Canadian claims for devastation created by overdose crisis

B.C. ends ‘birth alerts’ in child welfare cases

‘Social service workers will no longer share information about expectant parents without consent’

U.S. student, killed in Bamfield bus crash, remembered as ‘kind, intelligent, talented’

John Geerdes, 18, was one of two UVic students killed in the crash on Friday night

Driver of RV in Hosmer collision reported in stable condition

Collision occurred in Hosmer on September 5 and involved a semi truck, an RV and a school bus

Free Tesla 3 offered with purchase of Surrey townhome

Century Group’s offer for Viridian development runs through Oct. 31

Most Read