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 9:00 a.m.
Boundary Hospital Community Health Centre

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

The end of an Echo
The end of an Echo

Invermere Valley Echo shuts down operations in Columbia Valley

Creating a new narrative for Canal Flats

Economic development consultant hired, lists vision for next 90 days

Princeton wildfire phots courtesy of Debbie Lyon.
UPDATE: Crews battle as wildfires rage in B.C. Interior

Crews brace for another day on B.C. firelines as no let up is likely

VIDEO: B.C. wildfires by the numbers
VIDEO: B.C. wildfires by the numbers

Wildfires continue to engulf regions of B.C.’s forests and communities.

Aerial view south of Williams Lake Friday afternoon shows dry lightning storm passing over, leaving fire starts behind. Lightning sparked more than 100 new fires Friday. (Black Press)
VIDEO: More than 180 wildfires burning across B.C.

Firefighters from other provinces called in to assist

DTSS Grad March 2017
DTSS Grad March 2017

DTSS Grad March 2017

59 cats seized in Chase
59 cats seized in Chase

59 neglected and injured cats were seized from a property in Chase

(Flickr/Andreas Eldh)
Soundgarden singer Chris Cornell dead at age 52

The singer/songwriter passed away early Thursday morning in Detroit

Paying tribute to a primeval passage
Paying tribute to a primeval passage

Uninterrupted celebrates the Adams River sockeye run in an extraordinary way.

UPDATE: Pemberton Music Festival cancelled, no automatic refunds
UPDATE: Pemberton Music Festival cancelled, no automatic refunds

In the past, the music festival located in Pemberton drew large crowds last year of 180,000 fans

Photo by: WeissPaarz.com
Medical wait times cost B.C. patients $2,300 each

New Fraser Institute report places B.C. at second worst in costs associated with long wait times

UPDATE: 22 killed at Ariana Grande concert
UPDATE: 22 killed at Ariana Grande concert

Witnesses reported hearing two loud bangs coming from near the arena’s bars at about 10:35 p.m.

A university study finds that about nine per cent of Canada’s Grade 11 and 12 students – roughly 66,000 teens – have driven within an hour of drinking and 9.4 per cent drove after using marijuana.                                 Photo: Now-
Leader file
One in three Canadian high school students have rode with drinking drivers, study reveals

Nearly one in five rode with a driver who’d been smoking pot

Top court to hear federal government’s appeal on residential school records
Top court to hear federal government’s appeal on residential school records

A lower court judge ruled to destroy the stories after 15 years unless consent is given to preserve

Most Read