Coroner launching public inquiry into 2018 death of Lac Brome teen

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Riley Fairholm was 17 and suffering from depression when provincial police fatally shot him. (Sarah Leavitt/CBC - image credit)
Riley Fairholm was 17 and suffering from depression when provincial police fatally shot him. (Sarah Leavitt/CBC - image credit)

A Quebec coroner will hold a public inquiry into the death of a teenager in Lac Brome by the end of this year.

Riley Fairholm, 17, was fatally shot by provincial police on July 25, 2018.

For almost three years, his family has been searching for answers.

His mother, Tracy Wing, told the CBC last summer she wants to see more police accountability and de-escalation training, especially because Fairholm was in a mental health crisis at the time of his death.

Coroner's office spokesperson Jake Lamotta Granato wrote in an email that Fairholm's death was "assigned to a coroner for an investigation to establish the causes and circumstances," but the file has since been reassigned.

"In August 2020, the Chief Coroner had an exchange with the mother of the deceased to inform her that the holding of a public inquiry with the hearing of witnesses would henceforth be privileged, to shed light on the causes and the circumstances of her son's death," Lamotta Granato wrote.

He added the inquiry should be held at the end of 2021.

Quebec's police watchdog, the Bureau des enquêtes indépendantes (BEI), investigated the shooting in 2019, but a Crown prosecutor decided not to charge the officers involved.