Inquest announced into death of Tony Divers, man shot and killed by Hamilton police
SIU ruled officer who shot Divers was justified in fearing for his own life
The province has announced an inquest into the death of Tony Divers, an unarmed man who was shot and killed by a Hamilton police officer.
The 36-year-old died in hospital on Oct. 1, 2016 after being shot on a busy downtown street, right by Hamilton GO Centre shortly before midnight on Sept. 30.
Ontario's Special Investigations Unit ruled the officer who killed Divers was justified in believing his own life was at risk, fearing that Divers was armed and reaching for a weapon.
Divers was unarmed when he was shot.
In its decision, the SIU said officers responding to a call that Divers had assaulted a women had been told he was armed, was high on drugs, had a violent history and was considered "anti-police."
The report says when the officer confronted the Hamilton man, he started walking away from the officer, ignoring his calls to stop and get on the ground.
It says he then turned around with his hand in the waistband of his pants and took two steps toward him, taking something out from the front of pants and pointing it at the officer.
The officer fired two shots, one hitting Divers in the chest.
Yvonne Alexander, his oldest sister, said afterward she is both shocked at the decision and not surprised. <a href="https://t.co/JKXJ1rewPD">https://t.co/JKXJ1rewPD</a> <a href="https://t.co/sE0WS0kWFd">pic.twitter.com/sE0WS0kWFd</a>—@kellyrbennett
"I'm shocked but I'm not at all surprised," said Divers' sister Yvonne Alexander after the SIU reached its conclusion.
"Because it seems to be the norm these days for officers to shoot and kill someone in mental crisis."
Jury will try to prevent similar deaths
An inquest into his death is mandatory under the Coroners Act. It was announced by Dr. Karen Schiff, regional supervising coroner for the west region Friday afternoon.
"The inquest will examine the circumstances surrounding Mr. Divers' death," reads a release from the province. "The jury may make recommendations aimed at preventing similar deaths."
with files from Kelly Bennett