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Inquest held into police shooting

The scene where Adam Purdie was shot by a Surrey RCMP officer in 2011. - File
The scene where Adam Purdie was shot by a Surrey RCMP officer in 2011.
— image credit: File

A public inquest has been called into the police shooting of a man two years ago in Surrey.

The B.C. Coroners Service announced Wednesday an inquest will be held into the death of Adam Brian Purdie.

The Surrey Mountie who shot Purdie was cleared of any wrongdoing by Saanich Police in October, 2011.

Around 10 p.m. on March 2, Purdie caught the attention of undercover cops working on a separate matter near 16 Avenue and 128 Street. A licence plate query determined the registered owner, Purdie, had a history of firearms-related offences and a call was made to have uniformed officers attend.

Forty-five minutes later he was pulled over by an RCMP officer in the 15400 block of 16 Ave. That officer spotted the rifle in the backseat of his car, and Purdie (pictured left) sped away.

Purdie's vehicle was spotted again 15 minutes later travelling north on King George Boulevard south of Highway 10. Two officers at Highway 10 deployed a spike belt prior to Purdie's arrival, but he spotted it and swerved to avoid it, striking two civilian vehicles.

The officer involved in the shooting used his vehicle to force Purdie off the road. When both vehicles came to a stop, parallel to one another, the officer said he saw the muzzle of Purdie's assault rifle pointed at him.

The officer attempted to put his car in reverse, but having struck the Chrysler, the police cruiser was stalled.

The officer, who has not been named, pulled his service weapon and fired 30 rounds from two magazines at Purdie.

The Mountie, who had more than six years experience when the shooting occurred, has since been transferred out of province, though police say the transfer request was put in prior to the incident.

During the public inquiry, presiding coroner Tara Devine and a jury will hear evidence from subpoenaed witnesses to determine the facts surrounding this death.

While the jury may not, by law, make any findings of legal responsibility, it will have the opportunity to make recommendations aimed at preventing deaths under similar circumstances in the future.

An inquest is a formal process that allows for public presentation of evidence relating to a death.

It will be held from June 24 to 28 at the Burnaby Coroners Court in Metrotown.

@diakiw

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