Portrait of the Williams family used in a Go Fund Me campaign to raise money for the funeral of Shirley Williams and Jovan Williams. Shirley is wearing a white hat and Jovan is the taller of the two men.

Granisle shooting investigation still ongoing

Lakes District News asked the IIO when the investigation will be completed

It’s been exactly eight months since Shirley Williams and her son Jovan died in a police-involved shooting in Granisle on April 21, 2016.

The Independent Investigations Office (IIO) – which handles incidents of serious harm or death involving police in B.C. – has taken the lead on this investigation.

When asked how long the investigation would still take, IIO spokesperson Marten Youssef did not commit to a date.

“Unfortunately I cannot assign any specific dates to our investigations due to the fact that this depends on so many variables, such as third party lab reports and our overall caseload,” he said.

Back in May, the IIO said investigations such as the Granisle case could take up to 18 months.

“At the time of the incident we were notifying the public that we are closing fatal cases in about 14 to 18 months,” said Youssef. “This was not intended to provide a timeline on how long that investigation would take, but some context around the challenges of timeliness of our investigations.”

If this investigation does take 18 months, then it would be completed in October 2017.

Youssef explained that once the investigation is completed, the IIO’s chief civilian director still have to review the process.

“If the chief civilian director concludes that an officer may have committed an offence, he will file a report to Crown counsel for consideration of charges,” he said.

“The chief civilian director does not make any charges or recommend any charges whatsoever; that is the purview of Crown counsel,” he continued. “If he finds that no officer committed any offence, he will publicly report the reasoning underlying his decision.”

The RCMP said officers were called at 12:30 p.m. to a dispute between neighbours involving a handgun in Granisle on April 21, 2016. They arrived at about 1:20 p.m., established a perimeter around the Morrison Street home and tried to contact the people inside.

“One person exited the residence and confronted police. Shots were fired at about 2:50 p.m.,” said Staff Sgt. Rob Vermeulen, a senior media relations officer with E Division. “The second person exited the residence, confronted police and shots were fired.”

Paramedics who were waiting nearby rushed to the victims, but both were dead. There were no injuries to police.

Shirley, 73, had moved to Burns Lake from Nashville, Tennessee, and made Granisle her home about 12 years ago. Jovan, 39, had quit his job at Lake Babine Nation to be closer to his mother.

 

 

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