British Columbia

Police shooting widow launches lawsuit

The widow of a B.C. man shot and killed by police last year has filed a lawsuit against the RCMP.
The widow of a father shot dead by an RCMP officer in his Langley, B.C., home is now suing for damages, the CBC's Belle Puri reports 2:25

The widow of a B.C. man shot and killed by police last year has filed a lawsuit against the RCMP.

Langley RCMP were called to the home of Alvin Wright and Heather Hannon in August 2010 after the couple got into an argument.

Hannon said she told 911 operators she had been locked out of the house and simply needed help getting back in.

But she alleges in her statement of claim that police arrived, went upstairs to a bedroom in the couple's townhouse and then fatally shot Wright, 22, with no provocation.

Hannon and her brother were in the downstairs area of the townhouse at the time, according to Hannon's lawyer, Donald Sorochan.

"Almost immediately, a shot rang out," Sorochan said Tuesday. "There was no request for Alvin to come out heard by any of these people. There was no announcement that the police were entering the room."

Information withheld

Sorochan said there have been a long list of frustrations for Wright's loved ones since the shooting, including the length of time it took to get hold of a pathologist's report into the shooting.

"I still do not find it at all acceptable that the police department did not have a pathologist report months after this event."

Sorochan said he wasn't informed that Wright's autopsy report was complete until seven months after the shooting and then was told the family couldn't see it because it might interfere with the police investigation.

He said the family has a right to know what that report says.

"Things like, did my loved one die instantly? Did [he] say anything while [he was] dying? Was my loved one in pain?"

The unidentified officer who fired the fatal shot returned to work two weeks after the shooting. 

The Vancouver Police Department has been conducting an independent investigation into the incident and is expected to report by the end of September.

With files from the CBC's Angie Brar and Belle Puri