A coroners’ inquest into the police-implicated death of a suspect stabbed inside a Canadian Tire in Vancouver will begin Monday.
Daniel Peter Rintoul died in November 2016 in a shooting outside the store near Grandview Freeway and Rupert Street.
Police say he stabbed an employee in the back and neck, opened the store’s gun cabinets and attempted to remove firearms. But he left the guns and walked out of the store with a knife and bear spray, police said.
They say he used these objects in an attempt to attack the police, who had been called in to deal with the incident.
They claim he also took a senior official hostage and at one point managed to stab a police officer “several times, including in the head and abdomen”.
Rintoul was shot nine times by police and died at the scene.
The shooting has already been investigated by British Columbia police watchdog, the Office of Independent Investigations.
The officers involved were cleared in that investigation, which included testimony from people who were at the store that day. These witnesses told the IIO they heard police yelling at the 38-year-old suspect to drop his weapons and get down, but the man began spraying mace at the officers.
Civilians said they saw officers use a Taser, which knocked Rintoul to the ground, but police were unable to handcuff him or even control his arms.
Rintoul was a tall man, weighing around 430 pounds, according to the IIO report.
It was while officers were trying to arrest him that one of them was stabbed, the office said.
The watchdog said police always tried less-lethal options first, including firing foam or wooden ARWEN rounds, but investigators said the suspect “still intended to take aggressive measures”.
The IIO report was released in 2019, with the bureau saying it took so long because some Vancouver police officers pushed back during the investigation. The IIO ultimately had to go to the BC Supreme Court to compel these officers to participate.
The public inquest into Rintoul’s death will begin Monday at Burnaby Coroners Court.
These inquests are mandatory for deaths that occur while a person was detained or in the custody of a peace officer, and are not intended to find fault.
Instead, these inquests aim to determine the facts surrounding the death – including how it occurred – and make recommendations, if any, to prevent further deaths in similar circumstances.
They are also intended, according to the coroners’ service, “to ensure public confidence that the circumstances surrounding an individual’s death will not be overlooked, concealed or ignored.”
The survey will be broadcast live. Instructions on how to watch can be found on the provincial government website.
The province has also released a list of 33 witnesses who are expected to testify at the hearing, which is expected to run until Nov. 7.
With files from CTVNews.ca’s Kendra Mangione