RCMP Kill Mother and Son in Northern BC (April 21, 2016)

RCMP in Northern British Columbia shot and killed a mother and her son in an encounter in the early afternoon of Thursday, April 21, 2016. Family members of the victims have identified the deceased as Shirley Williams, 77, and son Jôvan Williams, 39. The mother and her son were confronted by police at the mother’s home in the small village of Granisle on Babine Lake.

RCMP reported having been called to a “neighbour dispute involving a handgun” at around 12:30 PM local time on Thursday (quoted in CBC News 2016a). Arriving at the home about 1:22 PM they surrounded the home and report attempting to make contact with the residents. Police report that one person exited the home and sometime thereafter shots were fired at approximately 2:50. A second person then reportedly exited the home with shots being fired once more. Paramedics were reported to be waiting nearby and the two victims were pronounced dead at the scene. Anne Williams, a teacher and twenty-year resident of Granisle who was friends with Shirley Williams, reported that she saw five police cars at the shooting scene as well as officers with rifles (CBC News 2016b).

Jôvan Williams was a carpenter who had also worked in security with the Lake Babine First Nation. His aunt, June Williams, reported that he had recently left the security guard job with the Lake Babine Nation to live with and help his mother (CBC News 2016b). Mother and son were longtime residents of the village of Granisle. Residents reported seeing the pair often out together around town. Strangely the local director for the regional district, Tom Liversidge, jumped to conclusions publicly about the shooting suggesting a police friendly take. Without explaining further or providing evidence he suggested: “It’s really a shocking thing. I know everybody is very surprised. Nobody expected that this lady or her son were violent” (quoted in CBC News 2016a).

The incident is presently under investigation by the Independent Investigations Office (IIO) the police oversight agency in British Columbia responsible for investigating instances of civilian harm or death involving police officers. Eight Independent Investigations Office investigators have been sent to the village to carry out the investigation. The sheer volume of such instances in the province over the last few years has contributed to a serious backlog of IIO investigations and growing frustration over the lack of answers in several killings by police over that time span.

A stricken June Williams was left to reflect: “My niece has no more mom and no more brother now. They were decent people, they were not troublemakers” (quoted in CBC News 2016b).

 

Further Reading

CBC News. 2016a. “Police-Involved Shooting Kills 2 in Northern B.C. Village of Granisle.” CBC News. April 21. http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/police-incident-shooting-granisle-1.3547972

CBC News. 2016b. “Shirley Williams, 77, and Son Jovan Williams, 39, Confirmed as Victims in Police-Involved Shooting.” CBC News. April 22. http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/shirley-williams-77-and-son-jovan-williams-39-confirmed-as-victims-in-police-involved-shooting-1.3548521

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3 responses to “RCMP Kill Mother and Son in Northern BC (April 21, 2016)

  • George Noriega

    RCMP must have feared for their lives. There was no other way to deal with a 77 year old granny.

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    • Colleen Carroll

      Yes, worst of all an x RCMP retired member had to say to the media she had mental health problems, not bad enough to kill in cold blood, but they have to slur the names of the diseased. I doubt he had mental health diagnostic skills and is licensed to diagnose them. When he spoke to the press telling them the victims were mental, he only mentioned he was a village of Granisle counsel member. That to me was the icing on the cake.

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  • Colleen Carroll

    People who knew Shirley knew she could not hear very well even if a freezer was running the noise made it so she could not hear. She was killed by the Same police Houston, B.C. RCMP who have killed before and gotten away with it. Ian Bush murder a few years back they have to their credit.

    The Friday before her death she was hardly able to stand up to do her grocery shopping in Super Valu in Houston She pushed the shopping cart like a walker in front of her. She needed help in taking things off the shelf and putting them in her shopping cart. Her hands were so badly damaged. She could hardly hold a gun much less fire one in her condition.

    The events of this shooting have left the people of Houston and Granisle afraid to be noted to have said anything bad against the RCMP, because they all know in a small town the consequences of doing so for them and their family members. They get bullied.

    People ask how things would be without the RCMP to bully and rebuff people seeking help. I believe it would be a lot safer if everyone had a gun on them and everyone knew they did. There would be no problems.
    We don’t need the trigger happy bullies that like to now call themselves RCMP. The community is scared and if they want to be honest they will admit this. Some have chosen to say nothing and not be noted and hope they won’t get bullied. Others fearful of being bullied are acting like they support the RCMPs actions just to save their asses. But we all know down in our hearts what goes on in these small towns. Even the papers have been careful not to point out the killings were once again done by Houston RCMP.

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