Peter de Groot was shot and killed by RCMP in 2014. Photo supplied

LETTER: De Groot investigation and decision highly questionable

The fatal shooting could have been avoided

Re: DeGroot family slams investigation report (April 4)

The front page story in the Nelson Star reporting the RCMP’s exoneration for the shooting of Peter DeGroot stated that he “fired a shot at police on Oct. 9, 2014.” I have read every story on this subject that I came across, and no on ever made such a statement before. Up until now, he always “allegedly” fired at police…the police never did prove that allegation.

It seemed to me at the time that the police overreacted to the incident to the nth degree, shutting down the village of Slocan for days, and deploying a team of specialists to hunt him down. It really didn’t appear that there was much of a plan to take him alive.

My understanding is that his sister asked to be allowed to talk him down when he was cornered in that cabin, and was refused permission to do so by police.

According to the story, once he was cornered in the cabin, Officer 1 and Officer 2 (Shades of the Cat in the Hat), decided to go in and get him. Sounds pretty Hollywood, and pretty low tech too. Have they never heard of tear gas? The only witnesses were police, so again, he “allegedly” had a rifle, and raised it in a way that “allegedly” threatened the officers. To quote your story ” Officer 2 said that he opened and pushed the door inward. He said he then saw a rifle come up. He believed it was about 60 centimetres above the floor. Although Officer 2 could not see (Degroot) he believed that he was lying on the cabin floor. Then Officer 1 fired the shot that killed Degroot.”

Let’s think about that. Officer 1 fired the shot, because Officer 2 allegedly saw the rifle, but, Officer 1 never did claim to even see the rifle, so how did he come to the decision to pull that trigger. That little quandary makes this investigation, and this decision, highly questionable.

Bottom line: Peter DeGroot did not have to die.

Rod Retzlaff ,

Glade

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