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B.C. man killed by RCMP identified, as Anonymous members quarrel over retaliation

The man killed by the RCMP outside a BC Hydro public meeting in Dawson Creek Thursday has been identified as James Daniel McIntyre, a 48-year-old local resident who fellow activists say was an Anonymous member who sent warnings -- or threats -- to BC Hydro of a potential hack attack shortly before the police shooting.

The killing of McIntyre, who is said to have been wearing the grinning Guy Fawkes mask worn by supporters of Anonymous, a global hacktivist collective, and carrying a knife at the time, has led to threats of vengeance against the RCMP and calls for public protests.

"Anonymous will not stand idly by while our own are cut down in mask," said a statement sent Saturday to the National Post, threatening the Internet infrastructure of the RCMP and the release of personal information on the identity of the officer who pulled the trigger.

"If we do not receive justice, rest assured there will be revenge," the statement says.

An apparent denial of service attack targeted RCMP websites over the weekend but all seemed operational Monday. The fallout from the threats, however, sparked infighting among activists under the Anonymous banner, some pushing for alternate ways of dealing with the shooting. By Monday, an Anonymous Twitter account issuing the threats first declared it was "under new management" and then, by afternoon, was deleted.

A Twitter user claims to have deactivated the account through a hostile takeover because "the drama" of the Anonymous squabble took the focus away from McIntyre's death and the issue he was protesting. Someone identifying themselves as McIntyre's cousin tweeted, "this nonsense will not bring my cousin back" and said McIntyre has family members in the RCMP.

McIntyre was killed at about 6:30 p.m. Thursday in the parking lot of the Fixx Urban Grill restaurant.

The RCMP said officers were called to the scene for a report of a man damaging property and disrupting the event. McIntyre was not the person who caused the initial disturbance but confronted two responding officers, said Corp. Dave Tyreman, an RCMP spokesman.

Tyreman said officers "did everything they could to de-escalate" the situation before shooting.

The death is being investigated by the Independent Investigations Office. The IIO said a knife was recovered along with other evidence and the probe is continuing. IIO investigators are "interviewing civilian witnesses; designating and interviewing officers; reviewing video from the scene and from witnesses; and meeting with the affected person's family," the IIO says in a written statement.

Neither the IIO nor the RCMP have identified the officer who shot McIntyre. Tyreman declined to provide even the officer's rank, gender or years of service with the force, citing the threats against the officer by online activists. The IIO says decision on the officer's work status is the responsibility of the RCMP.

Mike Irmen was in Dawson Creek on business and said he saw two Mounties with their guns drawn. Irmen asked what was going on.

"Just as I said that to them, bang, the cops had shot the guy. He kind of falls down and ends up laying there, bleeding, and he's got his knife still in his hand," Irmen said.

Irmen pulled out his phone and shot video of McIntyre as he lay on his right side, blood pooling beneath him.

"The cops are like, 'Throw your weapon away, throw your weapon away, throw your weapon away.' They must have said it I don't know how many times," he said.

McIntyre appeared to lose consciousness and the officers kicked the knife from the man's hand and handcuffed him, Irmen said.

McIntyre died shortly after arrival at hospital, according to the coroner. The coroner has still not traced bullet trajectories and could not say how many times he was shot.

A woman who answered the phone Monday at a home believed to be a relative's residence said she had no comment and asked for privacy for the family.

McIntyre worked at Le's Family restaurant as a dishwasher and cook's assistant, according to the Alaska Highway News. Owner Le Nguyen said McIntyre was a hard worker and a "normal guy."

People identifying themselves as Anonymous activists, including some with a known history of hacktivist activity, say McIntyre was a First Nations Anonymous member who, using the Twitter handle @jaymack9, helped organize opposition to the Site C Dam, a massive hydroelectric project planned for the Peace River in northeastern B.C. (The coroner's office said determining any native status was part of its investigation.)

On the day of the public hearing, he sent several tweets, most about BC Hydro's plans.

"Anonymous splinter group (to) attend the scheduled meeting in Dawson Creek tonight starting at 6pm," he tweeted shortly before he was shot.

Earlier, he sent a tweet to B.C. Premier Christy Clark and B.C. Hydro with what could be perceived as a threat of a computer hack: "BC Hydro check your computer systems, have real weakness in some areas," it says.

Despite his tweeted warning of Anonymous protesters attending the meeting, Tyreman said that information did not appear to be known to police at the time.

[Source: By Adrian Humphreys and Bethany Lindsay and Gordon Hoekstra, National Post, 21Jul15]

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