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The Globe and Mail

Police cleared in fatal shooting of ‘dangerous’ B.C. outlaw

RCMP Insp. Tim Shields holds up photos of Angus David Mitchell during a news conference in Burnaby, B.C., on May 30, 2012.

Jonathan Hayward/The Canadian Press

The Vancouver Police Department has found no wrongdoing on the part of Ridge Meadows RCMP in the fatal shooting of Angus Mitchell last spring.

Mr. Mitchell, 26, was the subject of a public warning and region-wide police manhunt after a double homicide at a Burnaby sushi restaurant on May 27 and a non-fatal shooting on May 29. The victim of the non-fatal shooting was Mr. Mitchell's former landlord.

On May 30, Ridge Meadows RCMP exchanged gunfire with Mr. Mitchell, fatally wounding him.

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"A review of the officer-involved shooting was conducted by the Vancouver police at the request of the RCMP and that review is now complete," VPD spokesman Constable Brian Montague told media on Wednesday. "Investigators with the VPD Major Crime Section have concluded that there was no officer that acted in a way that would support charges against any of them."

Constable Montague could not disclose any further details – such as what led up to the shooting, or how many times Mr. Mitchell was shot – citing an upcoming coroner's inquest scheduled for Nov. 5.

While inquests are usually required in police-involved deaths, this inquest will also look into Mr. Mitchell's history and "whether there was anything that could have prevented things from getting to this point in the first place," said Barbara McLintock, spokeswoman for the BC Coroners Service.

RCMP issued an urgent news release on May 30 describing Mr. Mitchell as "armed and extremely dangerous," warning he may be driving around in a green, 1994 Aerostar van, armed with a high-powered rifle with a scope. Police advised anyone who ever had a past conflict with him – including coworkers, employers and landlords – to be "extremely cautious about their personal safety."

Hours later, a caller tipped police off to the van's location, on a rural road in Maple Ridge. Police attended and exchanged gunfire with Mr. Mitchell. No police officers were injured in the shooting.

In following days, authorities revealed Mr. Mitchell had a list of 15 businesses and individuals he intended to target. They included people, a gym, a coffee house and schools in Burnaby and Surrey, according to Sergeant Jennifer Pound, spokeswoman for the Integrated Homicide Investigation Team. A 34-year-old woman, one of the victims in the sushi restaurant shootings, was on that list.

"The 'list' is not a typical list with numbered names within," Sgt. Pound said in a June 2012 statement. "It is more of an individual workup for each individual and each business with home address, maps of individuals' homes and escape routes. We know his plans were methodically thought out and prepared for each target."

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