Nfld. & Labrador

Paramedics say police photos not the way they remember Don Dunphy death scene

The paramedics who responded after Don Dunphy was fatally shot testified Friday that Dunphy's hand and gun were not as seen in police photographs.

Warning: Photo in this story may be disturbing to some readers

This is a photo police took of the rifle Don Dunphy is alleged to have pointed at RNC Const. Joe Smyth. (RCMP photo/Dunphy Inquiry exhibit)

The paramedics who responded after Don Dunphy was fatally shot by a police officer told a judicial inquiry Friday that the scene they saw was different than the one depicted in police photos.

Paramedics Nancy Linehan and Kevin Bishop were brought into Dunphy's home in Mitchells Brook on April 5, 2015, after Dunphy was shot by Royal Newfoundland Constabulary officer Joe Smyth.

I don't recall that blue tub.- Nancy Linehan

Linehan testified that the gun Dunphy is alleged to have pointed at Smyth was in a different position than photographs taken by RCMP officers show.

This is an RCMP photo of the shooting scene. Paramedics say they did not see a blue bin, the gun was in a different position, and Dunphy's left hand was resting on the arm of the chair. (Public exhbit/Dunphy Iquiry)

She also said she didn't see the blue storage tub the gun is resting on in the photo.

"There was a rifle on the floor. I had to step over it. It was laid against the chair or his foot. It was tipped up," she said.

"I don't recall that blue tub."

Linehan also testified that Dunphy's hand was in a different position than it is shown in police photos.

The photos show it resting on his lap but she said his left hand was "hanging over the left side of his chair."

Linehan said she doesn't recall a heater near Dunphy's chair that is also in police photographs.

Nancy Linehan is a paramedic who responded to Don Dunphy's home in Mitchells Brook shortly after he was shot to death. (CBC)

Bishop, who was driving the ambulance that day, also told the inquiry that he did not see a blue tub at the scene. 

When asked whether the gun was in the position shown in the police photo, Bishop responded, "definitely not." 

'Conspiracy theories'

The lawyer representing Const. Joe Smyth, Jerome Kennedy, objected during Friday's testimony.

"The public is watching and we have all kind of conspiracy theories being discussed," he said.

"Did the police move the gun? This evidence can feed into these conspiracy theories."

Kevin Bishop, a paramedic who drove the ambulance to Mitchells Brook, agreed the gun and Dunphy's hand were in different positions than shown in police photos. (CBC)

Justice Leo Barry, who is leading the inquiry, said he didn't see how Kennedy's objection is valid.

"You may argue that this is a conspiracy theory and I'll have to decide," he said. 

The lawyer for Don Dunphy's daughter, Meghan Dunphy, said he wanted to put something on the record.

"We do not accept Mr. Smyth's version of what took place," Bob Simmonds said.

Easter Sunday shooting

Smyth went to Dunphy's home in Mitchells Brook on Easter Sunday 2015, responding to concerns over some of Dunphy's tweets.

Don Dunphy was fatally shot by RNC Const. Joe Smyth on Easter Sunday 2015. (Courtesy the Dunphy Family)

At the time, Smyth was part of then-premier Paul Davis's security detail.

The RCMP investigated and concluded that no charges were warranted against Smyth.

The inquiry began Jan. 9 and is scheduled to hear from more than 50 witnesses, including Davis. Justice Leo Barry is hoping to complete hearings in early March.

Follow updates from the inquiry in our live blog.

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