Matthew Dumas, in an undated family photo. ((CBC))

One of the first officers on the scene after Matthew Dumas was shot by police talked with the Winnipeg teen after he fell to the ground, the inquest into his death heard on Monday.

Patrol Sgt. Randy Antonio was called to Winnipeg's North End neighbourhood on Jan. 31, 2005, as officers looked for three native suspects in a robbery, one said to be possibly armed with a gun.

Antonio, then a beat constable in the North End, testified that he was spot-checking a man when he heard two gunshots and went to the area where they were fired.

He saw Dumas, 18, on the ground, handcuffed.

A couple of police officers were already attending to Dumas, who appeared to be having trouble breathing, Antonio said. He checked for injuries and saw bleeding from an injury "to the back in the midsection."

He talked to Dumas, he said. Although he could not recall exactly what was said, he testified that Dumas wanted to leave.

He saw Const. Jonathan Mateychuk, who had earlier chased Dumas, and testified that Mateychuk looked shocked and stunned.

He also saw Const. Dennis Gburek,  the officer he would later learn had shot Dumas. Gburek also appeared shocked, he said.

Antonio retrieved the screwdriver Dumas had been carrying from the ground. He testified that he had been concerned the scene was being trampled and evidence was potentially being covered in snow.

Dumas not involved in robbery: police


Police tape on Winnipeg's Dufferin Avenue in the hours after Matthew Dumas was shot. ((CBC))

Meanwhile, another Winnipeg police officer told the inquest he did not know until the inquest that his superior officers did not believe Dumas had been involved in the robbery that led to him being pursued as a suspect.

Until a meeting with a lawyer last week, Const. Wojtek Luer testified, he had thought that Dumas might have been involved in the robbery.

His testimony echoed Gburek's on Friday. Gburek said he'd thought Dumas was a suspect until the moment, while on the stand that day, when he read a letter from 11 months after the shooting by then-police chief Jack Ewatski that indicated Dumas was not involved.

The inquest heard last week that Mateychuk saw Dumas on the street and identified him as a potential suspect in the robbery. When he approached Dumas, the young man, who was armed with what was later determined to be a screwdriver, bolted.

Mateychuk pursued him, briefly catching and struggling with him before Dumas broke away and headed to Dufferin Avenue, where he ran into Gburek and other officers.

Gburek testified that he saw Mateychuk use pepper-spray on Dumas to no effect. He said he'd warned Dumas several times that he would be shot, but Dumas continued to approach with the screwdriver.  Dumas was less than two metres away when he fired two shots, he said Friday.

An internal review of the shooting cleared the officer involved of any wrongdoing. Two external reviews later confirmed those findings.  An inquest is required under Manitoba law whenever someone dies in police custody.

The inquest, which began last week, is scheduled to last until the end of this week.