Mounties involved in fatal shooting will not face charges

Charges are not recommended against Mounties involved in the shooting death of a Nanaimo man.

Major crime unit detectives from Victoria Police wrapped up their investigation last week. The criminal probe was sparked when Jeffery Scott Hughes, 48, was shot during a confrontation with Nanaimo RCMP officers on Oct. 23, 2009.

Hughes lived in an apartment building in the 500 block of Selby Street. He was shot after police responded to a noise complaint and he allegedly brandished a weapon, which escalated the situation into a confrontation leading to shots fired by police. Hughes died at the scene.

It was the first death as a result of a police shooting in Nanaimo since December 1996, when a man wielding a knife was shot at the Departure Bay ferry terminal.

Police have never released information about the kind of weapon Hughes allegedly had nor other details about the incident because of the ongoing investigation.

Staff Sgt. Grant Hamilton, Victoria Police spokesman, said he was unwilling to comment on the case prior to a public coroner's inquest scheduled to be held in Nanaimo in July.

"Because it's a public inquiry and there are witnesses under oath and it's before jury, I'm reluctant to elaborate on the details as to what happened," Hamilton said.

Following the investigation, which included interviews with dozens of witnesses and the officers involved, and detailed forensic examination of the scene, police found no basis to recommend criminal charges against the RCMP members involved.

The case has been turned over to the B.C. Coroner's Office, which will hold an inquest at B.C. Supreme Court in Nanaimo July 25-29.

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