British Columbia

Photos of officers in Greg Matters shooting released

The coroner's inquest into the death of military veteran Greg Matters continues today in Prince George, B.C.

Mother Lorraine Matters says RCMP should not have deployed SWAT team

Yesterday a Prince George court released photos of the heavily armed emergency response team involved in the shooting of army veteran Greg Matters last September. The coroner overruled the RCMP's request to keep the photos private. 

The second week of the coroner's inquest into Matters's death continues today with testimony from RCMP officers involved in the stand-off in Prince George.

Yesterday, the court heard emotional testimony from Matters's mother, Lorraine Mathers. 

She said the shooting of her son, who suffered from post traumatic stress disorder, has left her with no faith in police. 

"I was begging for my son's life. I was begging, 'Please don't hurt my son.' But in my heart I knew they were going to hurt him," she said. 

She said officers in camouflage surrounded her rural property. When an officer pointed a gun at her, she was terrified, she said. 

She testified she was kneed in the chest and dragged by an RCMP officer when she tried to establish contact with Greg Matters during the standoff. 

"I want to be able to talk my friendly policeman and put my trust in a policeman again, if that can ever happen," she said. 

RCMP testimony confirms shooting 

RCMP testified an officer did shoot Matters twice in the back when he confronted them with an axe.

Officers were called to the farmhouse outside Prince George where he was allegedly in his back shed chopping wood.

The commanding officer for the Prince George detachment, Superintendent Eric Stubbs, is scheduled to testify today.

He would have been the officer to authorize detachment of the emergency response team.

Earlier this year, B.C.'s independent investigations office cleared the officers of any criminal offence. 

Matters suffered from post traumatic stress disorder, brought on by abuse he experienced during his time in the armed forces.

Last week, his psychiatrist testified he could have talked Matters out of the standoff, but he wasn't given the chance.

Dr. Greg Passey says Matters developed PTSD after he was assaulted by members of his military unit in 1995 and also had a difficult relationship with police who once came into his home at gunpoint, at night, to do a wellness check.

With files from Marrisa Harvey


To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.

Become a CBC Member

Join the conversation  Create account

Already have an account?