Portrait of the Williams family used in a Go Fund Me campaign to raise money for the funeral of Shirley Williams and Jovan Williams. Shirley is wearing a white hat and Jovan is the taller of the two men. (File photo)

Inquest scheduled into 2016 deaths of two Granisle residents

The pair were killed in police-involved shooting

A public inquest has now been scheduled into the police-involved shooting deaths of two Granisle residents in April 2016.

To be conducted by the B.C. Coroners Service, the inquest into the deaths of Jovan Christopher Williams, 39, and Shirley Beatrice Williams, 73, is scheduled to begin June 15 at the Smithers Courthouse.

A 2018 report by the Independent Investigations Office of B.C. (IIO) concluded that an RCMP officer who took the shots which resulted in the deaths of the mother and son said he was forced to first when Jovan ran out the back door of their Granisle residence wearing an army helmet and tossed a Molotov cocktail and pointed a rifle toward the officer, and then again when Shirley came out with a shotgun and wearing a bullet-proof vest.

Officers first responded to the Williams residence April 21, 2016 after receiving reports of altercations between the two and local residents in which Jovan produced a handgun.

An RCMP Emergency Response Team was also called out in what was described as a “very high” risk level while attempting to have the pair surrender and exit the house. Those attempts ultimately failed.

“The balance of the evidence supports the conclusion [the officer] fired his rifle to protect himself from potential lethal force from guns being pointed at him,” reads a portion of the IIO report.

An inquest involving a jury is mandatory for any death that occurs while a person was detained by, or in the custody of, a peace officer.

“The jury will have the opportunity to make recommendations aimed at preventing deaths under similar circumstances. A jury must not make any finding of legal responsibility or express any conclusion of law,” reads the coroners office press release of this morning concerning the inquest.

“An inquest is a formal process that allows for public presentation of evidence relating to a death. The jury will certify the identity of the deceased and how, where, when and by what means death occurred.”

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

Just Posted

Town grants Chamber $20K

Chamber estimates up to $65K in lost revenue, turns to council for help

COVID-19 highlights lack of connectivity in First Nations communities

Many don’t have access required to utilize online platforms, says First Nations Technology Council

Salmon closures announced for Skeena and Nass watersheds

DFO notice expands on May 21 chinook ban throughout Skeena watershed

New Salt Boutique the realization of a vision for owner Caroline Marko

Marko combines the rough and the soft in a minimalist, clean airy space

Coastal GasLink pipeline work ramps up

With spring thaw ending, workers start to arrive for summer season

Mission prison COVID-19 outbreak ends, 9 new cases in B.C.

New positive test at Port Coquitlam care home

Man who bound, murdered Vancouver Island teen still a risk to public: parole board

Kimberly Proctor’s killer is still ‘mismanaging emotions,’ has had ‘temper tantrums’

VIDEO: Humpback whales put on quite a show

The ‘playful’ pod lingered by a Campbell River tour operator’s boat for quite some time

Getting hitched at historic B.C. gold rush town still on table during COVID-19 pandemic

Micro-weddings, online visits, offered at Barkerville Historic Town and Park

Revelstoke woman finds welcoming letter on her Alberta-registered truck

There have been multiple reports online of vandalism to vehicles with Alberta licence plates

Introducing the West Coast Traveller: A voyage of the mind

Top armchair travel content for Alaska, Yukon, BC, Alberta, Washington, Oregon and California!

Spirit bear possibly spotted in West Kootenay

A local resident spotted the white-coloured bear while on an evening trail run near Castlegar on May 27

B.C. businesses ‘can’t shoulder burden’ of COVID-19 sick pay

Trudeau’s plan should be tied to federal emergency aid

B.C. teacher reprimanded for sharing homophobic and sexist memes, making racist comments

Klaus Hardy Breslauer was accused of making a laundry list of concerning decisions as a science teacher

Most Read