Police use new less-lethal weapon to take down suspect in Burnaby

No injuries apart from those sustained when suspect tried to flee into bramble-filled wooded area

The Lower Mainland Emergency Response Team shot a man in Burnaby last week with a “less-lethal” weapon it has been trying out for the last six months.

The ERT, which responds to high-risk, potentially violent events, responded to an incident at Burnaby Fraser Foreshore Park on Wednesday at about noon “as part of an ongoing police investigation,” according to Lower Mainland District RCMP Sgt. Janelle Shoihet.

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During the course of the incident, a man was shot with a 40-millimetre extended-range impact weapon.

“The incident was safely concluded with no injury as a result of the weapon deployment to the suspect,” Shoihet said in an emailed statement. “The suspect was treated on scene as a result of injuries he sustained during his attempts to flee into a bramble-filled wooded area.”

The suspect was taken into custody, but Lower Mainland RCMP didn’t provide any more information about why he was arrested or possible charges.

Extended range impact weapons shoot blunt impact projectiles that cause enough pain to subdue a person but leave no lasting injury.

“The ERIW's (Extended Range Impact Weapons) less-lethal option provides us time and distance to safely manage and de-escalate a high-risk situation or dangerous individual that might otherwise require us to use lethal force,” Shoihet wrote. “This option will enhance police and public safety.”

The ERT is currently piloting the use of the weapon, she said.

Roll-out to police detachments is expected sometime in the fall once training is completed, she said.

The public got a glimpse of the weapon last July, when Lower Mainland RCMP reported it was looking for a launcher and ammunition that had fallen out of the back of an ERT member’s truck near the Golden Ears Bridge.

The equipment was recovered the same day.

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