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

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

Capt. Alan Millbank, head of Nanaimo Fire Rescue’s Fire and Loss Prevention Division, takes photos of the scene of a blaze that heavily damaged two apartments on Wakesiah Avenue on Sunday, April 18. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)
RCMP, Nanaimo Fire Rescue investigating suspicious apartment blaze

Fire destroyed ground-floor apartment, spread to second storey at Wakesiah Avenue complex

B.C. provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry speaks at a press conference Monday, April 18. (B.C. Government image)
New COVID-19 cases tick down on the central Island

New cases held to single digits three days in a row

Chakalaka Bar & Grill remains open in defiance of orders from Island Health to close. (Cole Schisler photo)
Island Health seeks injunction against restaurant defying COVID-19 orders

VIHA says Chakalaka Bar and Grill also violating water and sewer regulations with RV hook-ups

Nanaimo RCMP hope the public can help them find a 16-year-old who has been missing since Sunday. (Photo submitted)
UPDATE: 16-year-old Nanaimo boy located safe

Teen had been reported missing last week and it was thought he may have left town

The Regional District of Nanaimo plans to make its operations more efficient as it works on long-term goals around carbon-neutrality. (PQB News file photo)
Regional District of Nanaimo works to become carbon neutral by 2032

RDN committee of the whole members endorse plan developed by consultant

In this image from NASA, NASA’s experimental Mars helicopter Ingenuity lands on the surface of Mars Monday, April 19, 2021. The little 4-pound helicopter rose from the dusty red surface into the thin Martian air Monday, achieving the first powered, controlled flight on another planet. (NASA via AP)
VIDEO: NASA’s Mars helicopter takes flight, 1st for another planet

The $85 million helicopter demo was considered high risk, yet high reward

Families of two of three workers killed in a train derailment near Field, B.C., in 2019 have filed lawsuits accusing Canadian Pacific of gross negligence. The derailment sent 99 grain cars and two locomotives off the tracks. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Families of workers killed in Field train derailment allege negligence in lawsuit

Lawsuits allege the workers weren’t provided a safe work environment

(New Westminster Police)
4 youth arrested after 30-person brawl in New Westminster leaves 1 seriously injured

Police are looking for witnesses who saw the incident take place

South Surrey’s Paul Cottrell, who works with the DFO, tows a grey whale out of Semiahmoo Bay Sunday. (Contributed photo)
Dead whale floating near White Rock towed to shore for necropsy

Animal has been dead since at least April 15

Wickaninnish (Clifford Atleo) plays the drum while singing the Nuu-chah-nulth song on the court steps in Vancouver In a picture from April 2018. Photo credit, Melody Charlie.
Five western Vancouver Island First Nations celebrate legal fishing victory

Court ruling confirms Nuu-chah-nulth fishing rights in case dating back to 2003

Sunday’s storm rocked one of the ferries crossing Kootenay Lake. Photo: Dirk Jonker
VIDEO: Storm makes for wild ferry ride across Kootenay Lake

The video was captured by ferry employee Dirk Jonker

Dr. Bonnie Henry gives her daily media briefing regarding Covid-19 for the province of British Columbia in Victoria, B.C, Monday, December 7, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Toddler marks youngest British Columbian to die related to COVID-19

Child one of eight people to die from virus this weekend

Pharmacist Barbara Violo arranges all the empty vials of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines that she has provided to customers at the Junction Chemist which is a independent pharmacy during the COVID-19 pandemic in Toronto, on Monday, April 19, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
B.C. to open up AstraZeneca vaccines for all people 40+, set up clinics in hot spots

A total of 13 neighbourhoods and communities will receive the AstraZeneca vaccine

Most Read