Greg Matters 'had no chance to speak to psychiatrist'
RCMP shot veteran soldier in the back after confrontion in September 2012
A former peacekeeper, who was fatally shot in the back by the RCMP, was never given a chance to talk to his psychiatrist, a coroner's inquest in Prince George heard Wednesday.
Veteran Greg Matters, 40, was killed in September 2012, after a lengthy confrontation with police at his home just outside Prince George, in Central B.C.
Matters was a soldier for 15 years, who served in the Bosnian conflict before returning to Prince George in 2009. About a year and half before his death, he began treatment for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
At the inquest into Matters' death, Dr. Greg Passey testified he received a call last September from an officer who said Matters was in a cabin and threatening to shoot members of the emergency response team outside.
Mounties were there to arrest Matters for assaulting his brother during an altercation about 40 hours earlier, and the officer on the phone was looking for information.
Passey said he told the officer that his patient had been assaulted by a senior military officer and would defend himself
because he feels threatened by police.
According to Passey, the officer ended the call suggesting a surrender had been negotiated, though Matters was then shot with an M-16 rifle.
'Calm and courteous'
Matters was described as calm and courteous, although cagey, when police showed up.
One officer has testified Matters threatened to shoot police, and anyone who came on his property, but other officers involved also said Matters never acted on any of his threats.
Lawyer Cameron Ward is representing Matters' family and has concerns about such a tragedy happening again.
"This wasn't the first fatal incident involving a northern B.C. ERT team members. I have a concern about the frequency with which these fatal shootings seem to occur," he said.
Ward suggests labelling Matters as violent was inaccurate, and may have influenced the officers' decisions.
Earlier this year, B.C.'s independent investigations office cleared the officers of any criminal offence.
A coroner's inquest cannot make findings of wrongdoing. It can only make recommendations.
The inquest continues.