Police bullets jammed dead man’s rifle 0
Adam Purdie's mother, Jane seen leaving the B.C. Coroner's inquest court in Burnaby, British Columbia, Wednesday June 26, 2013. (CARMINE MARINELLI / 24 HOURS)
The only shot definitely fired by a man killed in a hail of Surrey RCMP bullets was at himself, a B.C. Coroners Service inquest heard from an officer who investigated the shooting.
The jury released its recommendations Wednesday in the death of Adam Purdie, 28, who suffered 17 gunshot wounds in March 2011 after an officer pinned his car against a curb and ordered him to drop the Mossberg .22-calibre rifle he was holding.
The cause of death was multiple gunshot wounds and among the recommendations, the jury said police officers should establish information connected to a vehicle licence plate before approaching.
Det.-Sgt. Chris Horsley of the Saanich police was brought in to independently investigate the shooting. He said two bullet casings from Purdie’s weapon were found in his Chrysler 300, but only one bullet was located.
“We were not able to conclusively prove that a bullet from Mr. Purdie’s rifle was fired at anyone other than Mr. Purdie himself,” said Horsley, explaining the deceased had one self-inflicted gunshot wound to the neck.
Horsley said the other shell casing found in the car could have been discharged from the firearm — designed to look like an AR-15 machine gun — before the incident.
The gun jammed after it was damaged by police bullets, he said.
Purdie had struggled with substance abuse and had heroin and cocaine in his blood when the incident occurred.
He was banned from owning firearms due to a previous incident in which he broke into an ex-girlfriend’s home, for which he served jail time.
Horsley said the salesman was suffering from emotional distress the night of his death, soon after a longtime girlfriend ended her relationship with him.
Purdie’s mother Jane told the inquest Wednesday her son had a rough start in life, suffering from meningitis at two months old, plus many related medical procedures.
“Pain and hearing loss ruled his life for many years,” said an emotional Purdie, adding she thinks his medical issues may have led to his behavioural problems.
She pointed out that when he was released from jail he took the warden and a guard for lunch, and regularly visited prisons to speak to inmates about changing their lives.
“Adam was troubled, absolutely, but he tried so hard,” she said. “We wish this incident could have been avoided.”