Inquest announced into Peterborough police shooting of Hamilton’s Billy Shea
August 4, 2023 By Brendan Burke, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
Aug. 4, 2023, Peterborough, Ont. – An inquest into the police shooting of fugitive William (Billy) Shea, which occurred on July 23, 2019 after a standoff with police, will take place by video conference Sept. 5, the Ministry of the Solicitor General announced late Friday.
Shea, 27, was shot during an altercation with Peterborough Police and Ontario Provincial Police officers on the Highway 7/115 northbound off-ramp near The Parkway and Sir Sandford Fleming Drive intersection in the south end of Peterborough.
He died in hospital.
An inquest into his death is mandatory under the Coroner’s Act.
The inquest will examine the circumstances surrounding Shea’s death and the jury may make recommendations aimed at preventing further deaths, according to a press release from the ministry.
The inquest is expected to last five days and hear from about six witnesses.
In June 2020, the Special Investigations Unit cleared a Peterborough Police officer of any wrongdoing in the fatal shooting of Shea.
On the evening he died, police began a chase in Millbrook after they observed a stolen red Mustang in the village around 8:35 p.m. A collision occurred near the Highway 7/115 ramp approaching the stoplight at the intersection.
Following interaction between the driver (Shea) and police at that location – in which an officer tried to get Shea, over the course of an hour, to drop the firearm he was carrying and exit his vehicle, according to the SIU decision – one officer discharged his firearm and Shea was struck, the SIU said.
The police officer feared for his life and that of his colleagues, SIU said.
The SIU report stated Shea repeatedly said he was going to kill himself or that he wanted police to shoot him, and he threatened to kill police if they didn’t kill him.
At the time of his death, Shea was wanted by the OPP’s repeat offender parole enforcement squad for allegedly breaching his statutory release. Shea was serving a sentence of just over five years and one month for multiple counts of robbery and vehicle theft.
Dr. Paul Dungey, regional supervising coroner, East Region, Kingston Office, announced Friday that the inquest which will begin at 10 a.m. Sept. 5. Haniya Sheikh will be the presiding officer and Kim Motyl will be inquest counsel.
– The Peterborough Examiner
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