Delta cop charged with murder in 2012 casino shooting
Published Monday, October 20, 2014 11:24AM PDT
Last Updated Thursday, December 18, 2014 7:34PM PST
A Delta police officer has been charged with second-degree murder in the high-profile shooting death of an armed man near a New Westminster casino in 2012.
Crown prosecutors announced Monday that Delta Police Const. Jordan MacWilliams is charged with the second-degree murder of Mehrdad Bayrami, 48, who died in hospital several days after being shot in a five-hour standoff near the Starlight Casino on Nov. 8, 2012.
The charge stems from an investigation launched into the shooting by the Independent Investigations Office, which probes police-involved shootings.
Police were called to the casino after hearing reports of shots fired and found Bayrami in the parking lot.
Bayrami, who had appeared distraught and held the gun to his own head during the standoff, took two steps toward police before he was shot with plastic Arwen bullets and at least one round from an assault rifle.
Bayrami had allegedly taken a woman hostage at the casino after a domestic dispute. Witnesses reported seeing a woman dragged screaming into the bushes before the standoff began.
Delta police released a statement Monday confirming MacWilliams’ involvement in the shooting.
“I respect and understand the roles of Crown Counsel and the Independent Investigations Office,” said Delta Police Chief Jim Cessford. “This incident occurred almost two years ago and, given the independent nature of the investigation, I have limited knowledge of the details regarding this matter. Also, considering the fact that this matter is now before the courts I am not in a position to make any comment relative to the charges against Cst. MacWilliams.”
MacWilliams has been released from jail on recognizance and is next scheduled to appear in New Westminster court on Dec. 18.