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Inquest to be held this month into the death of man killed by police in northern Ont.

Ontario Provincial Police saw a man leaving the residence carrying what appeared to be a handgun (pictured) that later turned out to be a toy. (Supplied) Ontario Provincial Police saw a man leaving the residence carrying what appeared to be a handgun (pictured) that later turned out to be a toy. (Supplied)
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A formal inquest will be held into the death of John-Paul George, who was shot and killed in 2020 in New Liskeard.

Dr. Harry Voogjarv, regional supervising coroner for the North Region, announced the inquest will be held May 27 beginning at 9 a.m.

George, 42, died in hospital on April 9, 2020, after he was shot five times following an interaction in New Liskeard with the Ontario Provincial Police.

An inquest into his death is mandatory under the Coroners Act. The inquest is expected to last five days and hear from around 10 witnesses.

“The inquest will examine the circumstances surrounding Mr. George’s death,” the Ministry of the Solicitor General announced in a news release.

“The jury may make recommendations aimed at preventing further deaths.”

An investigation by the SIU cleared police of wrongdoing.

The investigation found that three officers responding to a report of a break-in were told by the occupant she believed someone was still inside her home.

Police saw a man leaving the residence carrying what appeared to be a handgun.

“He yelled obscenities at (police), kicked the gate open and began to make his way down the stairs,” the SIU report said.

“In his right hand was what appeared to be a handgun.”

He was ordered to drop the gun, but instead he kept walking down the stairs, pointing the plastic gun at police.

“As the complainant came off the stairs and continued to within a couple of metres of (police), each officer fired his weapon … four and two times, respectively,” the SIU report said.

He was struck five times, including three times in the torso, and died later in hospital, the SIU said. Police fired in response to an imminent threat, the report concluded, and waited until the man was just a few metres away before firing.

The May 27 inquest will be conducted by video conference. Members of the public who wish to view the proceedings can do so live by clicking here.

For more information about inquests, click here.

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