Photo: Vancouver Police Department
Vancouver Police Department officers responding to a violent man in a Canadian Tire led to a fatal shooting in November 2016.
A man held hostage before a fatal 2016 police shooting in Vancouver told investigators he was a human shield, a BC Corners Service investigation said Nov. 1.
Daniel Peter Rintoul, 38, died on November 10, 2016 after police shot him outside the Grandview and Boundary Canadian Tire store. The shooting came after what appeared to be a botched robbery in the store’s firearms department.
Police shot Rintoul after he allegedly stabbed a store clerk and a policeman, who both ended up in hospital with knife wounds. In February 2019, BC’s Independent Investigations Office (IIO) cleared the officers of any wrongdoing and said Rintoul posed “a threat of deadly force to members of the public.”
Presiding Coroner Susan Barth and a jury hear evidence under oath to determine the facts surrounding this death. The five-person jury can make recommendations aimed at preventing deaths in similar circumstances. A jury shall not make any finding of legal liability or express any conclusion of law.
Police responded to the Canadian Tire store around 3 p.m. that day after receiving multiple 911 calls. Police say a man entered the store wearing camouflage gear, stabbed a store employee and had begun removing firearms from gun cabinets.
Inquest attorney Chris Godwin said in a preview of the opening of the case that Rintoul was carrying a knife and bear spray. He said Rintoul unsuccessfully tried to load a gun after he sprayed staff member Jose de Jesus.
“If he had had a gun, it would have been a lot worse,” de Jesus said during his Nov. 1 testimony.
He told the court he was at the counter when the man approached with a box of bear mace.
“He had his finger on the trigger,” Jesus testified. “I warned my colleagues. I said, ‘Looks like they were going to be in some s—’”
Then the man doused him with bears.
“I couldn’t see. I couldn’t breathe. Straight to the face,” he said. “He sprayed me again.”
Then he heard the sound of breaking glass as the man entered the gun locker.
“‘Get out of here,'” de Jesus told his colleagues, before heading towards the man to try to stop him.
“He made me go round in circles. He slashed me. I could feel the blood flowing.
He ended up in the hospital for surgery. The court heard he had had physical and other problems since the event, but had returned to work.
At that point, de Jesus tried to get to the nearby elevators. “Another employee was my eyes and ears,” he said.
He said about 30 minutes passed, during which he heard gunshots coming from outside.
Meanwhile Harry Bruderer, 82, had already gone to the upper floor where he was told to get back in the lift.
Bruderer has since died, but the inquest saw the video statement he made to the IIO. Such investigations are carried out on incidents involving the police.
He said he saw blood on the floor and a body. Going back down to the lower floor, he said he was passing the escalators and saw a tall man coming down.
The man put his arm around Bruderer’s shoulder and showed him a knife. Bruderer described the knife as a switchblade with a blade three to four inches long. He told Bruderer to do as he said and he wouldn’t get hurt.
“I didn’t know he wanted me to be a human shield.”
“He was bleeding,” Bruderer said. “I knew he was in trouble.”
He said after seeing the scene upstairs, “I didn’t want to be next.”
Soon, the man guided Bruderer to an exit.
“I saw at least three or four policemen,” Bruderer said. “Everyone had a gun in their hands. They faced us. »
Then the man fell and the police intervened.
“It was three or four guys jumping on him, trying to hold him down, kicking him all over his body,” he said. “Jesus, this is brutal.”
He said at one point the man managed to get up and attacked the police.
“The next thing I heard was pop, pop, pop, pop.”
Bruderer was ordered back inside the store.
When asked what he thinks caused the man to fall, Bruderer replied, “It could have been a bullet. I do not know. The only noise I could hear was him screaming in pain and the F-word, then he went quiet.
“After so many balls, the guy didn’t move,” Bruderer said.
Bruderer said he wasn’t sure how many pops he heard.
“They were so close,” he said. “It’s brutal. I guess at that point I was in shock.
Canadian Tire changes
De Jesus said the store has changed the way the department works a lot. The glass was replaced by plexiglass or accordion portals. Guns for sale have trigger locks. Ammo that had been stored with rifles is now stored separately.
The case continues on November 2 with the testimony of police officers.
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