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Inquest into deaths of 3 people shot by police to begin in fall

File photo.
File photo. Jeremy Cohn/Global News

TORONTO – A coroner’s inquest into the deaths of three people who were shot by police has been scheduled for the fall.

The coroner’s office says the inquest into the deaths of Reyal Jardine-Douglas, Sylvia Klibingaitis and Michael Eligon will begin Oct. 15 and last about eight weeks.

All three may have had mental health issues, and were shot and killed after approaching Toronto police officers with weapons.

The inquest will examine the events surrounding their deaths and may lead to recommendations aimed at preventing similar deaths.

The announcement comes on the heels of another police shooting that claimed the life of a Toronto teen.

Sammy Yatim, 18, was killed on an empty streetcar on July 27 in an incident that has sparked public outrage over police use of force.

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Dr. David Eden will preside over the October inquest, which is expected to hear from more than 50 witnesses.

Eligon, 29, was killed in February 2012 after fleeing from Toronto East General Hospital, where he had been involuntarily admitted under the Mental Health Act.

He was dressed in a hospital gown and armed with two pairs of scissors, the Special Investigations Unit said in its report on Eligon’s shooting.

Jardine-Douglas, 25, died in August 2010 after police confronted him on a public transit bus.

They had received a call about him acting irrationally, the SIU found.

When Jardine-Douglas pulled out a knife out of his bag, officers repeatedly asked him to drop it and walked backward on the bus. Jardine-Douglas continued to approach the officer with the weapon, after which an officer shot him.

In the case of Sylvia Klibingaitis, she called 911 from her home and said she was going to commit a crime. When officers went to her house, Klibingaitis walked toward the officers with the knife in her hand in what the SIU called a threatening manner.

She did not drop the knife in response to officers’ demands and when she moved closer she was shot.

No officers were charged with a criminal offence in any of the three cases.

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