Coroner's inquest into shooting death recommends improvements to rural emergency care

Williams Lake Tribune August 28 2013


August 28, 2013 at 12:39 PM

Coroner's inquest into shooting death recommends improvements to rural emergency care



The BC Coroners Service has released its public inquest into the police-involved shooting death of Justin Zinser on Sept. 24, 2011.

The report recommends several improvements to rural ambulance and police service.

The inquest took place from Tuesday, Aug. 6 to Thursday, Aug. 8 in the Williams Lake Courthouse.

Presiding coroner Donita Kuzma made five recommendations following the inquest, including recommendations to the RCMP, the B.C. Ambulance Service and the Ministry of Justice.

Zinser, who was 23 at the time, was shot and killed by an RCMP officer at Nimpo Lake near Williams Lake after police were called to a domestic dispute.

Delta Police, who were called in to investigate, said in late September of 2011 the shooting happened while Mounties were waiting for backup, when an armed man began approaching police on foot.

The results from the inquest are as follows:

1. Recommendation to the RCMP:

RCMP members working alone in remote locations such as Anahim Lake, B.C., shall have Level 2 Responder Training including the ability to look for and identify injuries and to provide first aid to the best of their ability until a higher level of medical care is available.

2. Recommendation to the B.C. Ambulance Service:

When there is an anticipated absence of ambulance services in remote communities such as Anahim Lake, B.C., an action plan shall be in place to ensure there will be alternative coverage.

3. Recommendation to the RCMP and 911 Dispatchers:

When the RCMP in remote locations are responding to a potentially volatile incident and or request the Emergency Response Team (ERT), 911 dispatch will always call an ambulance to be staged at a safe location in anticipation of injury(s).

4. Recommendation to the Ministry of Justice — Community Corrections and Corporate Programs:

When an individual who is involved with the courts be identified as having a strongly held dislike/fear of authority (i.e. RCMP), a client-specific program be implemented to assist the individual in working through their issues which could include a variety of strategies not limited to counselling or mediation.

5. Recommendation to the RCMP:

a.) Improve technology to ensure better communication between RCMP members in remote communities and their external resources that otherwise would not be easily accessible.

b.) RCMP will carry and use personal audio and/or video recording equipment during all encounters with the public.