Man shot by police at ER had pleaded guilty to assaulting nurse

A Victoria man shot and injured by police at Royal Jubilee’s emergency department Monday morning had recently pleaded guilty to assaulting a nurse.

Sources have identified Kevin James Stevenson, 34, as the man who was shot by Victoria police at the hospital about 5:30 a.m. Officers were already at the hospital dealing with an unrelated matter when they were asked to help with a man brandishing a weapon in the emergency area.

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Police found the man and tried to subdue him with a less-lethal conductive energy weapon, or Taser. In the course of the incident, an officer shot the man, said police spokesman Const. Cam MacIntyre.

Stevenson remains in hospital. His injuries are not considered life-threatening. No officers were injured during the incident and major crimes unit detectives are investigating.

On March 2, Stevenson made his first appearance in Victoria’s integrated court and pleaded guilty to assault causing bodily harm to a nurse in November. The court, which deals with offenders with substance abuse issues and/or the mentally ill, ordered a pre-sentence report and a psychiatric report to assist at his sentencing. Stevenson was released on one condition — that he report to integrated court when directed by the court, his bail supervisor or his Assertive Community Treatment team member. He is to be sentenced in May when the reports are completed.

Staff Sgt. Matt Waterman, director of the Victoria City Police Union, said officers are expected to make difficult split-second decisions every day on the job.

“Our thoughts and support go out to the hospital staff who were subjected to this violent incident. Being a witness can be very traumatizing and we hope they received any needed support,” said Waterman.

The union has confidence that its members acted appropriately and believe the investigation will support that, he said.

“But what’s the solution when mentally ill offenders are released back into the community? Do they continue to flop around in the community or do they actually get some services, if that’s what they need?” asked Waterman.

The union continues to call for more support from municipal and provincial officials to address the growing issues and challenges related to mental health, homelessness and police resources in the community.

On Monday, the entrance to the Royal Jubilee Hospital emergency department was blocked by police tape and security guards. Patients were asked to enter the hospital through the main door.

The Independent Investigations Office of B.C. is conducting a separate investigation into the shooting and asks anyone with information to contact the witness line toll-free at 1-855-446-8477 or use the online contact form.

The IIO investigates all police-related incidents that result in serious harm or death.

ldickson@timescolonist.com

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