A coroner’s inquest has been scheduled into the death of a 24-year-old man who died in July 2015 after he was shot by Port Hardy RCMP.
The BC Coroners Service said James Reginald Hayward (also known as James Butters) died on July 8, 2015, following a police-involved shooting.
The shooting occurred after a confrontation between Hayward and two Mounties at Highway 19 and Granville Street. At the time, police said he had a knife.
Port Hardy RCMP members were responding to a call of a man reportedly brandishing a knife and uttering threats at Port Hardy Secondary School. They then ocated Hayward at that intersection.
Hayward’s family has been demanding answers from authorities around why he was shot since Hayward’s death
The Coroners Act allows the chief coroner to hold an inquest if the public has an interest in being informed of the circumstances surrounding a death.
The inquest will begin on Aug. 20 at 9:30 at the Campbell River courthouse (500 13th Ave.) Presiding coroner Lyn Blenkinsop and a jury will hear evidence from witnesses under oath to determine the facts surrounding this death.
The jury will have the opportunity to make recommendations aimed at preventing deaths under similar circumstances. The jury cannot make any finding of legal responsibility or express any conclusion of law.
“The BC Coroners Service looks to gather the facts surrounding why a death took place. It is not a fault-finding agency. It provides an independent service to the family, community, government agencies and other organizations,” the BC Coroners Service wrote in a release.