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Police File #04-333470 – Officer-Involved Shooting – Update

HIGHLIGHTS FROM MORNING MEDIA BRIEFING

VANCOUVER POLICE DEPARTMENT

2005.02.09

The investigation into the police-involved shooting of Gerald Chenery on Boxing Day is still continuing, but a preliminary synopsis of what happened that night is now complete.

The Facts:

  • On December 26th about 9:30 in the evening two constables were driving east in the south lane of 200 East Hastings Street.

  • They saw 29-year-old Gerald Samuel Chenery, who started to walk away after he spotted them.

  • They stopped Mr. Chenery to talk to him and learned that his parole had been revoked two days earlier and he was wanted on a Canada Wide Warrant.

  • The officers got out of the car to detain Mr. Chenery.

  • When Mr. Chenery was asked if he had any weapons, the considerably larger man pulled a knife on the police woman.

  • Both constables made loud and clear demands for Mr. Chenery to drop the knife.

  • As Mr. Chenery came towards them, the constables drew their firearms and tried to keep their car between them and their attacker.

  • They had called for backup, but as a police sergeant was arriving, events were unfolding very quickly.

  • Radio tapes reveal that the time elapsed between the call for assistance and shots fired was 32 seconds.

  • Mr. Chenery, who was now holding a knife in each hand, charged at the police woman.

  • She fired four times, one bullet striking Mr. Chenery and three bullets going wide.

  • Mr. Chenery continued his attack, driving her to the ground and slashing at her with both knives.

  • Her partner fired ten shots at Mr. Chenery, who never stopped his attack.

  • Most of the shots entered his back area, one shot entered the back of each wrist and another hit his leg.

  • The officer on the ground continued to struggle as Mr. Chenery continued to slash at her with both knives.

  • She managed to get out from under him and then he stood, still brandishing the knives and started to come at her partner.

  • He fired once more, striking Mr. Chenery in the lower abdomen, a shot that caused him to fall down on his side.

  • Mr. Chenery was taken to St. Paul's Hospital where he was declared dead.

  • Post mortem examination revealed that two shots caused serious lung damage and one had nicked his heart.

  • The police woman received a slash across the left front leg of her uniform and minor cuts to her hands from the attack.

  • Two independent civilian witnesses who heard the incident corroborate the police version of events.

  • Mr. Chenery had a lengthy violent criminal record including convictions for robbery and home invasion.

  • He had used knives to commit crimes on at least three occasions.

  • When he was searched after the incident, two more knives were discovered

  • These facts are based on:

    • Crime Lab examinations of police firearms and casings

    • Duty reports from the officers

    • Civilian witness statements

    • Preliminary autopsy reports

    • Tapes and transcripts of police radio traffic

    • Reports on Mr. Chenery from the Correctional Service of Canada

    • VPD and RCMP records

The investigation is mostly complete, with the exception of some follow-up interviews, a final report from the pathologist and a use-of-force report. The Major Crime Section is conducting the investigation. As an organizational practice, Regional Crown will review the report. The Internal Investigation section will then review and determine if there are any Police Act defaults. The Office of the Police Complaints Commission will review as an oversight body.

“I can tell you, from years of experience, none of us come to work wanting to pull our guns out and shoot someone. But sometimes we are faced with life and death situations, where we have to use our guns,” said Cst. Chow. “This is a tragic incident for all those involved – Mr. Chenery’s family, as well as the families of the members involved.”

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