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Police watchdog investigating fatal shooting in Dartmouth, N.S.


HALIFAX — Police fatally shot an armed man who had been threatening another person in the Halifax area on Saturday morning, officials said.

Officers had been responding to a weapons complaint at a home in the Dartmouth community of Westphal shortly before 8 a.m. when the incident happened, said Cpl. Jennifer Clarke, a spokeswoman for the RCMP.

She said the 24-year-old man had been threatening to shoot another man and fled to a wooded area when police arrived.

"While police were attempting to locate him utilizing an RCMP police dog service, they were confronted by the man resulting in officers discharging their firearms," she said.

Clarke did not say how many officers discharged their weapons or how many shots were fired.

She said the suspect, whose identity has yet to be released, was pronounced dead at the scene.

The investigation has been handed over to the Serious Incident Response Team, an agency called in to investigate all serious incidents — including deaths, serious injuries and allegations of sexual assault — involving police in Nova Scotia.

SiRT director Felix Cacchione said the agency is looking into the circumstances surrounding the man's death, adding that the shooting took place near the Mariner Auctions building on Broom Road.

He said the agency is encouraging anyone who may have witnessed the incident to come forward.

Mariner Auctions co-owner Brian Barker said the investigation was unfolding in the business's parking lot, saying staff used the back doors of the building all morning and the incident delayed an auction by two hours.

Several police vehicles and ambulances were on scene throughout Saturday morning and afternoon, with a large area taped off by police.

Dave McKenna, the owner of a nearby taekwondo and jiu-jitsu centre, said he didn't see anything, but heard banging noises at about 8:30 a.m.

"I recall hearing some bangs earlier in the morning and I thought it was a forklift," he said.

RCMP said the area between part of Broom Road and Highway 7 in Westphal was still roped off from the public as of Saturday afternoon.

Alex Cooke, The Canadian Press

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