The officer who shot Chantel Moore on June 4, 2020, testified on Tuesday at the second day of the inquest into her death that he, like his family, is unable to understand how the situation outside his apartment Edmundston, New Brunswick got worse so quickly.
Moore, of the Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation in British Columbia, was 26 when she was shot and killed that morning by an Edmundston police officer who had been dispatched to check on her well-being.
Moore’s family members were devastated during the testimony, hearing for the first time what happened that night from their daughter’s killer.
The family received support from Aboriginal community members present at the inquest, including drumming and smudging.
Famous Wolastoqi singer Jeremy Dutcher made an appearance in the morning. He sang as family members walked through security to enter the conference room
He fired four times in a row
Here’s how Const. Jeremy Son’s testimony unfolded, from the time he arrived on her doorstep that June night until he shot her and it was clear she had no pulse.
Son said it was mere seconds from when Moore was woken up by his knocking on the window of his Canada Road apartment and got up “calmly” from his couch, to when he shot her with his service handgun.
WATCH | The emotional arrival of the Chantel Moore family on the second day of the inquest into her death
Son testified that he fired four times in a row from about two meters away after she walked out the door and towards him with a knife in her raised hand.
He had knocked on her window for a few minutes, he said, and could see her sleeping on the couch. Her phone was in front of her and it was lighting up as if from notifications.
Even once she woke up, she seemed to be searching for the source of the sound, so he kept knocking.
When it looked like she saw him, Son said, he pointed his flashlight at his uniform to show he was a police officer and he pointed to the door.
She looked at the door and stood up, Son said, heading for the kitchen with a blanket wrapped around her.
He took a few steps towards the door.
Everything seemed normal, the constable said, until he saw through the door that she had picked up something metallic from the kitchen counter. Then she came quickly to the door, he said, with a look of anger on his face.
“I couldn’t figure out what was going on because it seemed like the reaction had changed,” the Fredericton inquest said.
Seeing that she had picked up a possible weapon, he pulled out his weapon as well, he said.
She opened the door and had her arm raised with the knife in her hand and walked towards him, Son said.
He said he told her to drop the knife several times.
There were boxes on the balcony and he was stumbling backwards. Son said he got to the balcony railing pretty quickly.
He said he didn’t have time to unload his gun on her until she stopped.
She fell to the ground.
“I had no idea how it got to this point,” Son said. “There was no reason for this to happen. I couldn’t understand how it had changed so drastically. It happened so quickly. There was no more reaction time.”
Son says according to his training, as soon as there is a risk of serious injury or death, it is the service weapon that must be used.
“We need to stop the threat as soon as possible to avoid these consequences,” he said.
When Moore fell, Son said, he put his gun away. He could hear Moore’s blood boiling and see it rapidly pooling on the floor of the balconies.
sergeant. Marc Bouchard, who had arrived at the scene about 30 seconds earlier according to his own testimony, informed the police station of what had happened, Son said.
Bouchard said he also called an ambulance.
They quickly turned her body over, Son said, and applied pressure to try to stop the bleeding. Moore’s eyes were open and looking everywhere, he said. He tried to talk to her and take her pulse.
Time passed, Son says, and he lost track of it, but at some point he could see that his eyes had become fixed. He asked Bouchard to check the pulse and Bouchard said he found none.
Son says Bouchard took his gun and told him to go down the stairs. He said they drove to the station in his patrol car and he returned the rest of his gear.
Her son didn’t have a Taser
Son confirmed that the images shown on a projection screen depicted the uniform and equipment he was wearing that morning. The word police was clearly marked on his chest in large white letters and on his cap. Along with his Glock 40 duty, he also had pepper spray, a baton, and handcuffs.
Son said he was trained to use a Taser and to teach others how to use it. But he didn’t have one that night because there was only one working Taser and a colleague had it. Also, that Taser didn’t fit him properly. It was too tight for him.
Son’s testimony was scheduled to continue into the afternoon.