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)

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

An aerial shot of Cedar Valley Lodge this past August, LNG Canada’s newest accommodation for workers. This is where several employees are isolating after a COVID-19 outbreak was declared last Thursday (Nov. 19). (Photo courtesy of LNG Canada)
41 positive COVID-19 cases associated with the LNG Canada site outbreak

Thirty-four of the 41 cases remain active, according to Northern Health

Kitimat RCMP were requesting assistance locating 24-year-old Teah Wilken, who was last seen getting on a bus at City Centre Mall in Kitimat around 6:30 p.m. Monday (Nov. 23). Kitimat RCMP Facebook photo.
UPDATE: missing woman found safe at residence

Wilken last seen getting on bus at City Centre Mall in Kitimat around 6:30 p.m. Monday (Nov. 23)

Randy Bell. File photo.
Former Smithers council candidate arrested for refusing to wear mask

Randy Bell handcuffed and given a warning at Bulkley Valley Credit Union

Salvation Army Christmas kettle campaign. File photo.
Kettle campaign delayed, kicks off Nov. 27

Salvation Army’s annual fundraiser to look different this year, thanks to COVID, tap option available

Cases have gone up in Northern Health in the past week, as they have all over B.C. (K-J Millar/Black Press Media)
Northern Health reports new highest number of COVID-19 cases in one day

Nineteen cases were reported to Public Health last Tuesday (Nov. 17)

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature, Nov. 23, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C. daily COVID-19 cases hits record 941 on Tuesday

Further restrictions on indoor exercise take effect

BC Teachers' Federation President Teri Mooring is asking parents of school-aged children to encourage the wearing of masks when possible in schools. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito)
LETTER: Teachers union encourages culture of mask wearing in B.C. schools

BCTF President Teri Mooring asks parents to talk with children about wearing masks in school

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speak to the media about the COVID-19 virus outside Rideau Cottage in Ottawa, Friday, Nov. 20, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s inability to manufacture vaccines in-house will delay distribution: Trudeau

First doses of COVID-19 vaccine expected in first few months of 2021, prime minister says

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
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

Pamela Wright, a UNBC professor in the department of ecosystem science and management, is presented with the Mitacs Award for Exceptional Leadership - Professor, at a virtual ceremony today (Nov. 24) in recognition of her collaborative work with community partners and students to conserve Canada’s northern lands. (Photo submitted by Mitacs)
UNBC professor recieves prestigeous conservation award

Pamela Wright recognized for leadership in ‘breakthrough’ work on northern issues

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Pamela Wright, a UNBC professor in the department of ecosystem science and management, is presented with the Mitacs Award for Exceptional Leadership - Professor, at a virtual ceremony today (Nov. 24) in recognition of her collaborative work with community partners and students to conserve Canada’s northern lands. (Photo submitted by Mitacs)
UNBC professor recieves prestigeous conservation award

Pamela Wright recognized for leadership in ‘breakthrough’ work on northern issues

(Pixabay)
All dance studios, other indoor group fitness facilities must close amid updated COVID-19 rules

Prior announcement had said everything except spin, HIIT and hot yoga could remain open

B.C. Liberal interim leader Shirley Bond speaks to reporters from Prince George via Zoom conference, Nov. 24, 2020. MLAs are being sworn in for the legislature session this week, many of them also by video. (B.C. legislature)
B.C. Liberal leadership contest will wait for election post-mortem

Interim leader set to face NDP on payments for COVID-19

Most Read