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Coroner's inquest will hear details of B.C. man's death in police shooting

The victim of a fatal police shooting in Mill Bay, B.C., was identified as 27-year-old Chris Bloomfield. (Facebook) The victim of a fatal police shooting in Mill Bay, B.C., was identified as 27-year-old Chris Bloomfield. (Facebook)
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British Columbia's coroners service will hold an inquest next month to investigate the death of a 27-year-old man who was killed by police on Vancouver Island.

Chris Bloomfield was shot dead by Mounties outside his mobile home near Mill Bay, B.C., on Nov. 10, 2018.

According to a narrative of the events that morning published by B.C.'s police oversight agency, a woman visited the nearby Shawnigan Lake RCMP detachment to complain that Bloomfield had drugged her with LSD and physically assaulted her.

She told police the man had mental health issues, was taking drugs and had threatened to kill himself.

Officers responded to the mobile home park with paramedics staged nearby.

The report from the Independent Investigations Office of B.C. says Bloomfield advanced on the officers with a knife and was shot with a Taser before police fired six bullets at him.

Bloomfield was taken to hospital where he was pronounced dead at 2:25 p.m. that day.

An autopsy report showed he had been shot twice in the chest, once in the abdomen, and once in each arm, the IIO said.

A toxicology report showed Bloomfield had cannabis, codeine, MDMA, cocaine, ketamine, and PCP in his blood at the time of his death.

While the two officers involved were ultimately cleared of wrongdoing by the police watchdog, the agency noted that its investigation was delayed because both officers declined to be interviewed by investigators and refused to hand over their notes and duty reports from that day.

Two lawyers representing the officers finally consented to provide the IIO with written statements on behalf of the two Mounties on Aug. 13, 2020, more than 19 months after the fatal shooting.

"The law requires positive evidence of justification, which on the particular facts of this case was only available from the (officers) as no other persons witnessed the incident," the police watchdog said.

"As a result, a decision about whether there was justification could only be made after the subject officers' statements were received."

Two days before his death, Bloomfield wrote a bizarre Facebook post recalling a party he allegedly attended, at which he said he took drugs after most of the people left. He also said he was sexually assaulted and beaten.

Bloomfield had previous run-ins with police, having been charged and convicted of assault and obstructing an officer in 2013. But those close to him described Bloomfield as harmless and a free spirit who loved people.

"It came as a huge hit. It surprised the community," Dylan Harper told CTV News following his friend's death. He said he grew up with Bloomfield and the two attended several concerts together.

"Never once have I ever heard of him being violent towards any single individual," Harper said. "No one that knows him would even think he would be capable of hurting a fly."

The coroner's inquest is scheduled for July 2 at the Victoria courthouse.

Presiding coroner Kristen Everett, along with a jury, will hear sworn evidence and have the opportunity to make recommendations to prevent deaths under similar circumstances in the future. However, the jury cannot make any findings of legal responsibility.

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