The BC Coroners Service has scheduled a public inquest into the death of Peter de Groot beginning on May, 19, 2020, at 9:30 a.m. at the Rossland Courthouse.
The death of de Groot, 45, was reported to the BC Coroners Service on Oct. 13, 2014, following a police-involved incident at a cabin near Slocan.
Under the Coroners Act, inquests are mandatory for any deaths that occur while a person was detained by or in the custody of a peace officer.
Presiding coroner Chico Newell and a jury will hear evidence from witnesses under oath to determine the facts surrounding this death. The jury will have the opportunity to make recommendations aimed at preventing deaths under similar circumstances. A jury must not make any finding of legal responsibility or express any conclusion of law.
An inquest is a formal process that allows for public presentation of evidence relating to a death. The jury will certify the identity of the deceased and how, where, when and by what means death occurred.
The BC Coroners Service looks to gather the facts surrounding why a death took place. It is not a fault-finding agency. It provides an independent service to the family, community, government agencies, and other organizations.
De Groot was shot and killed by police at a cabin following a manhunt of several days. Police said that he fired at officers who came to his home and then fled.
His family says it hopes the inquest answers several outstanding questions, including why police came to his home and why de Groot’s sister Danna was not allowed to help resolve the situation peacefully. The de Groot family is holding a civil suit against the RCMP in abeyance until the inquest ends.