British Columbia

Expert to challenge RCMP version of Ian Bush shooting: lawyer

Inquest testimony next week by a blood spatter expert will dispute the RCMP's version of the 2005 shooting of Ian Bush at the police detachment Houston, B.C., CBC News was told Wednesday.

Inquest testimony by an independent blood spatter expert will dispute the RCMP's version of the 2005 shooting of Ian Bushat the police detachment Houston, B.C., CBC News was told Wednesday.

Joe Slemko, who does work for the Edmonton Police Services and owns a private forensics consulting firm, will testify when the inquest resumes Tuesday, Bush family lawyer Howard Rubin said.

Slemko did a pattern analysis of the blood spatterin RCMP photographs to try to determine the position of the 22-year-old mill worker and the officer who shot him, Rubin said.

In his report, which was sent to the family, Slemko said he didn't find any bloodstain evidence to support thetestimony of Const. Paul Koester, whotold the inquest last month he was attacked by Bush and choked from behind and had to shoot Bush to save his own life.

Koester said he started to lose consciousness and couldn't remember exactly where he and Bush were positioned when he fired his gun or how he got out from under Bush's body. Bush had been shot in the back of the head.

The inquest also heard fromRCMP blood spatter expert Sgt. Jim Hignell, who said the blood spatter at the scene was consistent with Koester's account of what happenedand was "most likely what happened."

However, Rubin said Slemko's report suggests that when the gun was fired, the officer was either behind Bush or to the side of him — not underneath him.

Bush was arrested in October 2005 for having an open beer outside a hockey game and for giving a false name to the officer. He was taken to the RCMP detachment and, 20 minutes later, he was dead.

The inquest into the shooting began May 22 in the northwestern B.C. community.

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