Family of Hazelton Man Shot By Surrey Transit Police Hoping For Answers As Inquest Continues

The sister of a Hazelton man who was fatally shot by transit police in a Surrey grocery store two years ago says she doesn't understand why her brother had to die.

Melanie Woods is attending a coroner's inquest into the death of 23-year-old Naverone Woods [Facebook photo at right], who was killed in December 2014, after officers had responded to reports of a distraught man armed with knives who was cutting himself.

"If someone has got 20 stab wounds and they're bleeding, I think you could have made an effort to pepper-spray them, I think that would have diffused the situation immensely -- he's already wounded, now you blind him, I  think there could have been different means to defend -- I don't think he had to die like this, I don't!'' she said.

But Constable Pamela McKinnon -- who fired the fatal shot -- told the inquest that Woods lunged at her partner with knives in his hands and pepper spray would have been an ineffective response.

The lawyer for the coroner said methamphetamine was found in toxicology results but Woods' relatives say they are distressed by the testimony about his death and are unconvinced that deadly force was the only option.

Woods' uncle, Gary Ryan, says the family wants to see the grocery store's security video of the death.

"The family has never seen any actual footage of the actual incident, where they're saying `Stop! Drop the knife!' We've never seen anything on footage of the shooting take place and that's where I'm very disappointed, because cameras don't lie," he said.

Video from inside the store was played at the inquest yesterday but it didn't show the shooting, and Ryan says the family has been told video of the shooting is unavailable.

[The Canadian Press]