Public inquest begins into death of man shot by transit police

The family of a young Indigenous man who was shot dead by a Metro Vancouver Transit Police officer is hoping to find answers at an inquest that begins today in Burnaby.

Naverone Woods, 23,  died inside a Surrey Safeway store in December of 2014.

His godfather, Ira Good, says he remains baffled by the death.

"It was just devastating," said Good. "Who would shoot him?"

"Everybody knew him as the gentle giant. He helped out the elders, helped out the younger generation," he said.

Good says his godson had travelled from his home in Hazelton, B.C., to the Lower Mainland to attend a funeral. 

Officers were called to the Safeway where they found Woods shirtless and suffering from multiple self-inflicted stab wounds, according to a report from the Independent Investigations Office — the civilian agency that investigates police incidents involving death or serious harm.

The report says officers ordered Woods to drop the knives he was waving, but he did not, and instead, moved toward police.

The female officer who fired her gun was found to have used "reasonable force"  and was cleared of wrongdoing by the IIO in May, 2016.

Presiding coroner Brynne Redford and a jury will hear evidence around Woods' death and will make recommendations to prevent future deaths in similar circumstances.

With files from Betsy Trumpener