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Police watchdog investigating November death of UBC student

2 calls were made to 911 before officers responded
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FILE - People pass by large letters spelling out UBC at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver on Nov. 22, 2015. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

B.C.’s police watchdog is investigating whether officer action or inaction played any role in the death of a student who was found in medical distress at a University of British Columbia student residence building last November.

The Independent Investigations Office of B.C. (IIO) said initial information provided to it by University RCMP indicates officers responded to a request for help around 10 a.m. on Nov. 14, 2022.

They were called to a campus residence building where they found a male student in medical distress. He was taken to hospital where he died on Nov. 20.

RCMP told the IIO they later discovered that two calls had been made to 911 from the deceased student’s phone prior to 10 a.m. In both cases, the dispatcher reported hearing no audio on the other end. RCMP said there were also missed return calls on the student’s phone from the Vancouver police before 10 a.m.

The IIO said it was notified of these apparent early attempts for help on Feb. 6 and has since launched an investigation into whether police were aware of the first two calls.

As an independent oversight agency, the IIO investigates all officer-involved incidents that result in death or serious harm to determine if there was any wrongdoing.

Anyone with information of the incident can contact the IIO at 1-855-446-8477 or through its online contact form.

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