An internal investigation into the 2007 incident that saw a veteran police officer shoot and kill a man found the officer’s actions “clearly reasonable and necessary,” police said yesterday.
“In this case, it was a clear-cut situation where the officer was justified. He had no choice in the matter and no less violent means were available,” said Vancouver police Chief Jim Chu.
The officer, who Chu declined to name, responded to a routine call about an impaired driver at the Shell gas station at East 41st Avenue and Knight Street on Dec. 17, 2007.
Upon arrival, the officer, an acting sergeant with extensive field experience, found 21-year-old Rueben Coleman in “no condition to drive,” Chu said.
A struggle ensued and Coleman produced a .45-calibre pistol and aimed it at the officer, who then shot and killed Coleman with his service pistol.
“I saw the video, and when you see something like that in real life — such a dangerous situation — it makes the hair on the back of your neck stand up,” Chu said.
The investigation was conducted by the VPD’s major crime section and reviewed by the Office of the Police Complaint Commissioner.
The officer is back on active duty.