Man targeted in weekend Kelowna shooting dies during police incident

·2 min read
West Kelowna resident Kyle Gianis, 37, ran a fitness company. He survived numerous attempts at his life over the past 14 years.  (Iron Athletics/YouTube - image credit)
West Kelowna resident Kyle Gianis, 37, ran a fitness company. He survived numerous attempts at his life over the past 14 years. (Iron Athletics/YouTube - image credit)

A man who escaped a brazen shoot-out on Saturday night in Kelowna with minor injuries has now died during a police incident.

West Kelowna resident Kyle Gianis, 37, was pronounced dead Thursday at an Enderby campground after police were called to respond to reports of an assault.

The circumstances around Gianis's death were reported by the Independent Investigations Office (IIO), B.C.'s police watchdog. It investigates any officer-related incidents that result in serious harm or death.

According to the IIO, police received a report shortly after midnight on Thursday that a man — Gianis — had allegedly assaulted two women with a weapon at a campground. Gianis also appeared to have a self-inflicted injury.

Police, including members of the Southeast District Emergency Response Team, found Gianis at 2 a.m. They approached him using tear gas and a 40mm less-lethal round, the IIO says.

Gianis was in medical distress, according to RCMP reports, and despite medical intervention, was eventually pronounced dead at the scene.

The two women sustained non-life-threatening injuries.

Numerous attempts on his life

Gianis, who had served time in a U.S. prison for smuggling methamphetamine precursors, has faced numerous attempts on his life over the years.

In 2007, Gianis's house was shot at 14 times in one night.

CBC News has also confirmed Gianis was the intended target of a 2018 shooting that killed nurse Paul Bennett in Surrey.

Most recently, on Saturday, Gianis and a 25-year-old resident of Surrey sustained injuries during the Kelowna shoot-out. While Gianis escaped with minor injuries dealt with by a short hospital visit, the 25-year-old sustained life-threatening injuries.

After that shooting, police issued a public warning regarding Gianis, with Kelowna RCMP's Cpl. Jocelyn Noseworthy saying the man posed a threat to the community.

"Because of his criminal activities and associates, Mr. Gianis poses a threat to our community and the public in general, and we are putting all our resources into investigating this newest incident," Noseworthy said in a release.

Winston Szeto/CBC News
Winston Szeto/CBC News

Gianis ran a fitness company, and was active on social media, where he shared his love of weightlifting and stories of a rough upbringing.

He also used the platform to proclaim his innocence of all rumoured crimes.

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