A Coroners Inquest that was held this week in Smithers into the deaths of Jovan Christopher Williams and Shirley Beatrice Williams wrapped up on Saturday evening (Nov 6) with the jury providing recommendations to prevent deaths from happening under similar circumstances.

The mother and son both died at their home in Granisle after a neighbour altercation involving a handgun on April 21, 2016.

They both were shot with a rifle by the RCMP officer

The jury has ruled both of the deaths a homicide with Jovan’s due to a gunshot wound to the chest and a gunshot wound to the abdomen for Shirley.

For each of the deaths the jury provided recommendations.

The recommendations that were provided for Jovan Williams:

For “E Division” RCMP:

  • To review policy to encourage the deployment of members in pairs where possible, especially and specifically for high risk incidents in isolated communities.
  • To reopen the RCMP detachment in Granisle and post a member to that detachment.

For “E Division” RCMP and Northern Heath:

  • To lead the development,training and implementation of Community Crisis Intervention Teams within isolated communities that bring together members of various agencies to assist in providing cohesive responses to critical incidents.

The recommendations that were provided for Shirley Williams:

For Northern Health:

  • To ensure proper follow up by community health clinicians in rural and remote communities when assessing and treating clients with mental health issues

For RCMP “E Division:

  • To review the critical incident communication protocols for rural and remote communities; specifically, to consider the option of using family or victim support services personnel during a crisis, instead of RCMP members.

For RCMP ”E Division” and Northern Health:

  • To lead the development,training and implementation of Community Crisis Intervention Teams within isolated communities that bring together members of various agencies to assist in providing cohesive responses to critical incidents.

The jury also found that Jovan and Shirley Williams died at their home in Granisle.

An IIO report issued in 2018 determined the RCMP officer did not commit an offence and it would not be referred to Crown Counsel for charges.

The officer remains on duty with the RCMP.