Blue Line

Coroners inquest called into 2021 RCMP shooting

November 17, 2023  By Andrew Bates, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Nov. 17, 2023, Kingston, N.B. – The province has scheduled a coroner’s inquest into a man’s 2021 death in an RCMP shooting in the Kingston area.

Regional coroner Michael Johnston will lead an inquest into the death of Ryan Nowlan from Nov. 21 to 24, the province’s department of justice and public safety announced Friday. In a press release, the province said Nowlan died during an “RCMP intervention following a police call for service” at his residence, on Kiersteadville Road in Kingston on Dec. 31, 2021.

In May of 2022, the Nova Scotia Serious Incident Response Team found no grounds to lay charges against two Hampton RCMP officers who fatally shot a man on the Kingston Peninsula Dec. 31, 2021. Nowlan, who has not previously been named, reportedly assaulted his partner, threatened to burn his house down and attacked officers with a utility knife.

According to the investigators’ report, the man began arguing with his partner and assaulted her, “choking her and pushing her head into a door,” threatening to burn their house down if she left or called the police. The woman took one of her two children to the Hampton RCMP detachment, and officers then accompanied her to the home to retrieve the other child and personal belongings, according to the report.


In the basement, investigators say the man was found in a closet in basement and confronted officers with a utility knife. According to the report, after officers unsuccessfully told him to drop the knife, one of them used a Taser, and attempted to use it two more times but it stopped functioning. The man got back up and moved towards the second officer, who shot him in the shoulder, investigators said. The man lunged towards the officer, “striking them in the face with a utility knife,” at which point the first officer shot the man in the stomach, according to the report.

The man was given first aid by officers but died on the way to hospital, according to investigators. The officer who had been struck with the knife was treated for facial injuries.

The province previously said that incident took place in Kiersteadville, roughly 18 kilometres north of Kingston, but RCMP Cpl. Hans Ouellette confirmed the incident took place on Kiersteadville Road in Kingston.

Johnston confirmed in an email to Brunswick News that the inquest and the SIRT investigation refer to the same incident.

In an inquest, the coroner and a jury publicly hear evidence to determine the facts of a death and make recommendations to prevent similar deaths in the future. An inquest is not a trial and does not make findings of legal responsibility.

– Telegraph-Journal

Print this page


Stories continue below