A coroner’s inquest has heard for the first time from the officers involved in the fatal shooting of a Vancouver man with mental health issues.
Fifty-one-year-old Tony Du was shot dead in a confrontation with police at 41st Avenue and Knight Street in 2014.
Du had been brandishing a two-by-four and appeared to be in mental distress.
On Monday, the inquest heard how Du suffered from schizophrenia, and had previously had run-ins with police.
On Tuesday, an emotional Const. Trevor Letourneau — one of two officers who responded to the call — addressed the court.
“I’m sorry for your loss,” Letourneau told Du’s family.
“I can’t even begin to imagine how you’re doing… You haven’t even had a face to understand who we are,” he said.
On the stand, Letourneau described the chilling details of the incident, beginning with how he arrived at the scene and retrieved a beanbag shotgun from the trunk of his cruiser.
He testified that he made eye contact with Du, and yelled at him to put the two-by-four down, but that the 51-year-old continued to advance on him.
WATCH: Cellphone video of police-involved shooting
The inquest heard that Letourneau fired six rounds from the beanbag gun at Du, to no apparent effect.
At that point, the other officer fired three shots with his pistol, the inquest heard.
Du later died of those gunshot injuries.
Speaking with Global News, witness Joe Tobias — the man who recorded a cellphone video of the shooting’s aftermath — said despite Du’s agitated state, he did not appear to be a danger and that police could have spent more time trying to talk him down.
“I spent five minutes standing next to this gentleman, Mr. Du, and never felt threatened, not one bit,” he said.
WATCH: No charges in fatal shooting of Tony Du
B.C.’s civilian police watchdog, the Independent Investigations Office, later determined Du was fatally shot within 30 seconds of officers arriving at the scene.
No charges were filed against the officers involved in the incident.
The inquest resumes on Wednesday, and is due to wrap on Friday.
— With files from Jeremy Lye and Rumina Daya