NIPIGON, Ont. - The coroner’s inquest examining the circumstances surrounding the 2016 shooting death of 45-year-old Daniel Legarde by an Ontario Provincial Police officer in Nipigon is underway.
The inquest opened on Monday in Nipigon and is scheduled to take 10 days. The jury will hear evidence from 18 witnesses.
A coroner’s inquest is mandatory under the Coroners Act when an individual dies during an interaction with police. The jury of five individuals can then hand down recommendations to parties with standing in an effort to prevent similar incidents from happening in the future.
The incident dates back to the night of November 26, 2016 when OPP officers with the Nipigon detachment were dispatched to a Park Road residence for reports of an unwanted person.
On Monday, the jury heard audio recordings of the 911 call and dispatcher communication with officers responding to the scene.
The man at the residence, identified as Legarde, was described as intoxicated and yelling at neighbours and trying to coax one into a fight.
The complainant said Legarde did not have any weapons but when officers arrived, he exited the residence carrying a kitchen knife.
According to an investigation by the Special Investigations Unit, Legarde was told by police to drop the knife but he did not comply. A taser was then used but had no effect.
When Legarde exited the residence a second time with the knife raised and approaching police, an officer discharged his firearm once, striking Legarde in the abdomen.
Legarde was transported to hospital but died as a result of his injuries.
The SIU determined the police officers acted lawfully within the course of their duties and there were no grounds to lay criminal charges.