James Butters (a.ka. Hayward) was shot dead by Port Hardy RCMP on July 8, 2015. Photo contributed

Jury retires to deliberate on 2015 Port Hardy RCMP fatal shooting

Jurors could come back with recommendations arising from five days of a coroner’s inquest

The five-person jury at the coroner’s inquest into the shooting death of James Butters (a.k.a James Hayward) at the hands of the police retired Tuesday to deliberate on recommendations arising form the incident.

Butters, 24, died on July 8, 2015 following a police-involved shooting after Port Hardy RCMP members responded to a call of a male uttering threats.

It was just after 11 a.m. when the Port Hardy RCMP responded to a complaint of a man making threats towards security staff at Port Hardy Secondary School, where a staging area for a wildfire burning throughout the previous week had been set up.

The man, later identified as Butters, was wielding a knife.

According to the Independent Investigation Office’s report, witnesses said, after being confronted by the RCMP, Butters moved toward the police with the knife in his hand and was shot to the ground.

Paramedics were then called and Butters was pronounced dead at the scene.

The inquest into the incident began in a Campbell River courtroom on Tuesday, Aug. 20 and heard from Hayward’s aunt Nora Hayward, a friend, public witnesses to the incident, a mental health worker, Butters’ probation officer, the RCMP officers involved in the incident, a forensic expert, an expert on RCMP use-of-force training, a prison psychologist and a pathologist.

The jury, comprised of three women and two men, were given instructions from the coroner conducting the inquest, Lyn Blenkinsop.

“It is your duty to consult with one another and achieve a just result,” Blenkinsop said.

Previously, Blenkinsop had said the jury’s duty is threefold:

To determine the facts as they relate to a death, specifically the identity of the deceased, how, when, where and by what means the deceased came to his death.

To make recommendations, where appropriate and supported by the evidence, that may prevent future loss of life in similar circumstances.

As a means for satisfying a community that the circumstances surrounding the death of one of its members will not be overlooked, concealed or ignored.

Blenkinsop said if the jurors feels there are no reasonable recommendations to be made, then they are free to state that. If they are going to make recommendations, she told them to base them solely on the evidence heard over the course of the hearings.

The jurors could come back with a report as early as Tuesday or Wednesday.

RELATED: Coroner’s inquest into fatal police shooting in Port Hardy begins in Campbell River

RELATED: Inquest into Port Hardy police shooting moved to Campbell River


@AlstrT
editor@campbellrivermirror.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Comments are closed

Just Posted

Langford teens reunited with family after rescue near Chemainus

Friends spent night in missing truck, spotted by RCMP helicopter

VicPD investigating ‘anti-Canadian’ graffiti at Fairfield home

Canada Day items on display vandalized with spray paint

West Shore RCMP looking for suspects after $3,000 worth of cosmetics stolen

Suspects allegedly stole high-end beauty products from Langford Shoppers Drug Mart

B.C. records 31 new cases, six deaths over three days due to COVID-19

There are 166 active cases in B.C., 16 people in hospital

B.C. homeowners plead for action on condo insurance crisis

Strata property fees growing bigger than mortgage payments

Indigenous man behind complaint of BC Transplant’s alcohol abstinence policy has died

David Dennis, who is Nuu-chah-nulth, argued that six-month sobriety policy is a ‘lethal form of racism’

ICBC to resume road tests in July with priority for rebookings, health-care workers

Tests have been on hold for four months due to COVID-19

Restaurant to be converted into housing for people experiencing homelessness

BC Housing buys popular Campbell River eatery for $985,000 to serve as bridge housing

Urge travellers to follow COVID-19 rules in a ‘gentle way’: B.C.’s top doctor

Cases surging in the U.S. have B.C. officials hoping the border stays shut all summer

96-year-old woman scales B.C. butte with help of family, friends

‘I did as I was told and I enjoyed every minute of it’

Parallel crises: How COVID-19 exacerbated B.C.’s drug overdose emergency

Part 1: Officials say isolation, toxic drug supply, CERB, contributing to crisis

Most Read