The man who shot and killed James McIntyre spoke for the first time today in a Dawson Creek courthouse – but no one saw his face.
“I reacted, screaming, saying he’s got a knife and needs to drop it," said former RCMP constable Nick Brown today.
Brown, appearing from home via video with his face covered, said as he and Cst. Sandy Tookeea were leaving a Site C event at the Stonebridge Hotel in on July 16, 2015 when McIntyre approached them with a switchblade knife.
After Tookeea fired pepper spray that did little to stop McIntyre, Brown noted he fired without aiming his weapon.
“He was close enough I didn’t have to aim. I didn’t aim for any particular area to stop him from advancing on me.”
RCMP officers were originally on hand to respond to a call about Peace Valley farmer Terry Hadland, who was at the Site C presentation and caused a disturbance - but Hadland had long left by the time police arrived. McIntyre, wearing a Guy Fawkes mask, associated with the hacker group Anonymous, approached Brown and Tookeea as they were leaving and was attempting to conceal the switchblade behind his back from them.
“He had tried to hide it, saying we didn’t need to worry about,” said Brown. The bullet dropped McIntyre to the ground. Brown then kicked the knife away, with a civilian nearby asking if she could help - by picking up the knife.
Cst. Matthew Anderson then arrived on scene, brandishing a twelve gauge shotgun. Anderson justified shotgun, concerned his fellow officers might have been under fire.
“The reason I deployed the shotgun (is) because I heard on the radio that shots had been fired, I didn’t know if that was from us or towards us,” said Anderson. After noting RCMP were the only ones shooting Anderson then told Brown to wait by one of the cruisers and not to talk to anyone.
“If charges were to go through, anything I said could have been used against me,” said Brown, calling the silence isolating.
“I was not allowed to say anything to anybody. My wife, the psychologist, no one.”
Until today, Brown was sworn to silence on the matter by Independent Investigations Office. He has since been cleared.
Officers further testified that slight first aid was attempted on McIntyre by a fourth RCMP officer arriving on scene, before being taken by paramedics.
In 2015, tazers were not available to DC RCMP. Tookeea says they would have been useless as McIntyre's hoodie would have prevented the electrical probes from making contact with his skin.
- with files