24 year old James Hayward was fatally shot by a Port Hardy RCMP officer July 8, 2015.
July 8 2015 is a date Nora Hayward and her family will never forget.
“Well my brother who is James’ father phoned me and told me, he just screamed into the phone that the police had killed his son and I thought it was a joke I really thought he was kidding” said Nora Hayward in an interview with CHEK News, one year to the day her nephew was killed.
24 year old James Hayward was fatally shot by a Port Hardy RCMP officer on Granville Street near the Hwy 19 intersection.
His body lay, covered on the road for several hours on a hot day as the Independent Investigations Office sent investigators to Port Hardy to take over the probe into what happened.
“A few hours later we looked on the news and there he’s still laying in the street and by then we got official notification it was my nephew James who had been killed by the police and um, yeah it was a horrible, horrible day” said Nora Hayward.
The family has never officially been told what happened that day as they await completion of the probe into the shooting by the IIO.
Information released at the time indicated that James Hayward had been involved in some type of altercation nearby involving threats and soon after encountered the RCMP officer.
His family says he may have had some kind of box cutter on him but that he was also suffering from mental illness.
“We can never get him back but we can prevent this perhaps from happening to another family. You know as we see it on tv, why, why is the mandate shoot to kill, why can’t they use rubber bullets? I don’t know, maybe there’s a very good rational reason but why can’t they use rubber bullets, why can’t they use their taser gun, why can’t they use mace? Why does it have to be lethal force?” added Hayward.
The IIO says the formal investigation is complete but can not say when the findings will be released.
“What are you hoping to get out of the IIO investigation”” Hayward was asked. “The truth” she replied.
“Does the family want the officer charged? Yes.”