Inquest will be held into shooting death of Hamilton man
Phonesay Chanthachack died Feb. 13, 2012 after he was shot by Hamilton police
The province is holding an inquest into the death of Phonesay Chanthachack, a Hamiton man who died after an encounter with city police.
Chanthachack, 27, died last Feb. 13 after he was shot while attempting to exit a parking lot in a stolen van. A Hamilton Police Service officer was investigated and cleared of wrongdoing by the province's Special Investigations Unit (SIU).
Dr. Roger Skinner, interim deputy chief coroner of investigations, announced the inquest Tuesday afternoon. The inquest is mandatory under the Coroners Act.
The inquest, which is scheduled for June 3 in Hamilton, will examine the events surrounding Chanthachack's death. The jury may make recommendations aimed at preventing similar deaths, the province said in a media release.
Chanthachack was mortally wounded around 1 p.m. last year after an encounter with officers at 15 Albright Rd. A team of officers had been watching the stolen van, and Chanthachack attempted to pull out onto the road.
Const. Ryan Tocher pulled in front of Chanthachack while an unmarked police vehicle boxed him in from the back.
Chanthachack reversed the van and ran into the rear vehicle, the SIU said. Tocher got out of the vehicle and yelled at Chanthachack to show his hands and get out of the van.
The stolen van moved toward him and Tocher shot Chanthachack in the wrist, the SIU statement said. The van kept moving and "made contact with the officer," who shot again, this time hitting Chanthachack in the chest.
Even while shot twice, Chanthachack pulled out of the parking lot, stopping about 100 metres down the road when he hit a pole at Quigley Road. He was taken to Hamilton General Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
The SIU found that Tocher's use for force was legally justified to prevent himself from being harmed or killed, SIU director Ian Scott said last June.
Tocher was also charged, but found not guilty, in the beating of Po La Hay in a botched drug raid in May 2010. He was also cleared in 2007 after the shooting death of Cambodian refugee Soun Saing, who assaulted the owner of a pool hall.
Tocher's then-lawyer, Gary Clewley of Toronto, said the constable had a string of bad luck.
The inquest will begin at 9:30 a.m. at the John Sopinka Courthouse. Dr. Jack Stanborough will preside as inquest coroner and Graeme Leach will act as counsel to the coroner.