NORTH ISLAND GAZETTE FILE PHOTO The crime scene in Port Hardy one day after the fatal RCMP shooting of James Hayward in 2015.

Inquest into Port Hardy police shooting moved to Campbell River

Family disappointed James Hayward coroner’s inquest rescheduled hours away

The coroner’s inquest into the 2015 RCMP shooting death of James Hayward in Port Hardy has been rescheduled for Aug. 20, in a courtroom almost three hours away from where the shooting occurred.

According to the BC Coroner’s Service, the change in venue is due to the fact that they needed a courtroom equipped for a jury that would be able to accommodate the inquest.

James’ aunt, Nora Hayward, said the family is “a bit disappointed that it’s going to be held in Campbell River — if they had to change the venue why couldn’t they do it to Victoria where family and friends live?”

She added that she asked if they could postpone it so that it could still be held in Port Hardy, but was told by the coroner’s service they “can’t do that.”

Regardless of the change in venue, Nora stated she is “glad that it’s finally happening and that James’ voice can be heard and hopefully some recommendations will be made to change the way the police deal with people suffering from mental health issues.”

The inquest will begin at 9:30 a.m. at the courthouse in Campbell River, where the presiding coroner and a jury will hear the evidence from witnesses under oath to determine the facts about James’ death.

Coroner’s inquests are formal court proceedings, with a five- to seven-person jury, held to publicly review the circumstances of a death. The jury hears evidence from witnesses under summons (same as a subpoena) in order to determine the facts of a death. The presiding coroner ensures the jury maintains the goal of fact-finding, not fault-finding. Upon conclusion of the inquest, a written report known as a Verdict is prepared. It includes the classification of the death and any jury recommendations on how to prevent deaths in similar circumstances.

It was back in 2015 when James moved towards the Port Hardy RCMP with a large knife in his hand and was shot to the ground. Witnesses said he then got up and continued toward the police and was shot again and again fell, this time not getting back up.

He was pronounced dead at the scene by paramedics.

After a two-year investigation into the shooting, the Independent Investigations Office (IIO) declined to press charges against the RCMP officer, as they felt there was a clear action from James that was creating a threat.

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

Just Posted

VIJHL season could start Oct. 1, says league president

League awaiting final approval from local health authorities and viaSport

First fall storm approaching Campbell River

The area is under a special weather statement for expected wind and rain

RCMP investigation underway under Tamarac Street

Campbell River RCMP is conducting an investigation under Tamarac Street in Campbell… Continue reading

B.C. reports 96 new COVID-19 cases, one hospital outbreak

61 people in hospital as summer ends with election

‘Unprecedented’ coalition demands end to B.C. salmon farms

First Nations, commercial fishermen among group calling for action on Cohen recommendations

Earthquake off coast of Washington recorded at 4.1 magnitude

The quake was recorded at a depth of 10 kilometres

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

B.C.’s top doctor says she’s received abuse, death threats during COVID-19 response

Henry has become a national figure during her time leading B.C.’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic

BC Liberals must change gears from election cynicism, focus on the issues: UBC professors

COVID-19 response and recovery is likely to dominate platforms

B.C. could be without a new leader for multiple weeks after Election Day: officials

More than 20K mail-in voting packages were requested within a day of B.C. election being called

Most Read