The New Brunswick RCMP is asking for an independent agency to conduct a review of police actions following a shooting incident early Thursday morning involving RCMP members in St. Stephen, N.B.

St. Stephen RCMP responded to a report around 4 a.m. of an individual in mental distress with a weapon outside a home on Ross Avenue. When police arrived, they say they were confronted by a man armed with a machete.

Police say the man refused to drop the weapon when instructed to do so and advanced towards officers. An RCMP member discharged a firearm, striking the man. First aid was administered at the scene, and the man was taken to hospital with a gunshot wound. No one else was injured.

RCMP later identified the man as 26-year-old Jacob Joseph Lawrence Hanley.  He appeared in Saint John Provincial Court on Friday by way of teleremand, and was charged with two counts of assaulting a peace officer and one count of assault with a weapon. The charges also relate to a separate altercation Hanley was allegedly involved in earlier Thursday near Ross Avenue.

"Use of force is never an action taken lightly," said Cpl. Hans Ouellette of the New Brunswick RCMP. "We are committed to being accountable and transparent to the communities we serve about police actions. That is why it is standard practice for the New Brunswick RCMP to seek an independent agency to review our actions when there are serious incidents involving our police officers."

As New Brunswick does not have an independent review agency, the RCMP asked the province's Department of Justice and Public Safety to identify an agency to investigate this shooting. The New Brunswick RCMP will cooperate fully with the review, Ouellette stated.

The RCMP members involved in the incident have been placed on administrative duties pending the outcome of the review.

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