Ontario coroner’s office announces inquest into shooting death of Sammy Yatim

Click to play video: 'Inquest announced looking into the death of Sammy Yatim' Inquest announced looking into the death of Sammy Yatim
WATCH ABOVE: It's been six years since Sammy Yatim was killed on a TTC streetcar and on Wednesday, an inquest was announced to look into the teenager's death. Erica Vella reports – Jul 31, 2019

The Ontario coroner’s office announced Wednesday that an inquest will be held looking into the 2013 death of Sammy Yatim.

Yatim died in hospital on July 27, 2013 after he was shot by a Toronto police officer and then tasered by another inside a TTC streetcar.

Officers responded to a call about a teen exposing himself on the streetcar while brandishing a small knife. By the time police arrived, Yatim was the only person left on the streetcar.

READ MORE: Disciplinary charge dropped for Toronto police officer who tasered Sammy Yatim

Const. James Forcillo, who was one of the first officers on scene, fired two separate volleys at Yatim as the 18-year-old was standing alone holding a small knife on the summer night, in an incident that ignited public outrage after a bystander’s video was made public.

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In 2016, a jury acquitted Forcillo of second-degree murder but convicted the officer of attempted murder, and he was sentenced to six years in prison. The conviction related to a second volley of bullets Forcillo fired after Yatim was down and dying.

Forcillo also had six months added to his sentence after pleading guilty to perjury. He was also charged with breaching conditions of his bail, along with obstruction of justice, while awaiting for his appeal decision. Those charges were later dropped once he pled guilty.

In 2018, the Supreme Court of Canada refused to hear his appeal of both his conviction and sentence.

Forcillo fired an initial three shots, which caused Yatim to fall to the floor of the streetcar, then fired a second volley of six more shots. He was the only officer to fire his weapon. The bursts lasted less than 10 seconds.

Sgt. Dusan Pravica was charged in 2017 under the Police Services Act because he tasered Yatim during the incident, after he had already been shot by Forcillo.

READ MORE: Supreme Court will not hear appeal of Toronto cop who shot teen on streetcar

The disciplinary charge was later withdrawn.

A lawyer representing Pravica said at the time that the matter was resolved through mediation “to the satisfaction of the parties.”

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READ MORE: James Forcillo, Toronto cop convicted in shooting death, gets 6 months added to sentence

Dr. Bonnie Burke, regional supervising coroner for central region, Toronto East Office, said in a press release Wednesday the inquest will “examine the circumstances surrounding Mr. Yatim’s

“The jury may make recommendations aimed at preventing future deaths,” she said.

The date of the inquest has not yet been announced.

With files from The Canadian Press

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