Officer testifies at inquest into fatal RCMP shooting of Maple Ridge, B.C., man with schizophrenia

The first RCMP officer has taken the stand during an inquest into the fatal shooting of a Maple Ridge, B.C., man at the hands of police.

Kyaw Din, 54, was fatally shot by officers in his bedroom back in August 2019. Din had schizophrenia, and the inquest heard he had been off his medication for seven to 10 days before he died.

Const. Daniel Losiak with Ridge Meadows RCMP told the court he was the first attending officer at the home, and that his initial details from dispatch were that there was “a domestic” in progress.

He described Din as agitated and angry when he arrived, and despite Din’s sister saying her brother wanted to go to hospital, Losiak believed Din did not. Losiak asked if Din had any weapons and Din’s sister said her brother often had a paring knife, usually used to peel fruit.

Losiak said given the circumstances, he called for more officers to come to the scene and it was decided Din would be detained under the Mental Health Act. Losiak said another officer tried to enter the bedroom and he heard “knife, knife, knife… Taser, Taser, Taser.”

The series of events that followed has previously been documented by B.C.’s police watchdog.

A report released in September from the Independent Investigations Office of B.C. found the officers’ use of force was justified, and the IIO decided not to recommend charges in Din’s death.

Din’s sister and brother also took the stand Tuesday. When asked if police treated her brother like someone with a mental health issue, she said no.

She also testified that she believed the IIO report had wrongly identified which officers arrived on scene first, referring to it as a cover up by the RCMP.

The lawyer acting on behalf of the RCMP suggested she was confused and wrongly believed that the dispatcher and first arriving officer were the same person.

The inquest is scheduled to run until March 8.

A coroner’s inquest is a formal process that allows 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.

Presiding coroner Donita Kuzma began the proceedings by noting the inquest is not a trial, but that the jury will have the opportunity to make recommendations aimed at preventing deaths under similar circumstances. 

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