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The family of Henry Masuka came to the coroner's inquest for answers.

Yesterday, as the jury delivered its verdict on how the 26-year-old father of four died in a hospital emergency room in a hail of police gunfire on New Year's Day, 2000, they left with their questions unanswered.

"It's a mystery still," said John Masuka, Henry's father. With his lawyer's arm around his shoulders, Mr. Masuka said: "It has come to a conclusion; my heart will dwell on it."

One of the questions a coroner's jury must answer is by what means a person died. After a two-week hearing, during which they heard from the police officers who shot Mr. Masuka, the doctor he held hostage, family members and hospital staff, the jury found insufficient evidence to support a finding of either homicide or suicide.

Instead, they concluded he died by "undetermined" means.

Henry Masuka was shot at St. Michael's Hospital in downtown Toronto, where he had taken his three-month-old son. After being told he would have a 45-minute wait before a pediatrician could see the baby, he pulled a gun and took Richard Yu hostage. Dr. Yu was an emergency-room physician at the hospital. The gun was an unloaded replica.

Mr. Masuka told hospital staff that his son was having trouble breathing. A subsequent examination found that he only had the sniffles.

During the hearing, members of the Toronto Police Emergency Task Force said they fired because they believed Mr. Masuka was about to kill the doctor. They said Mr. Masuka spurned all attempts to negotiate and to have his son treated. He kept taunting the officers, saying "Shoot me. Shoot me."

Lawyer Peter Rosenthal, acting for Mr. Masuka's family, had argued that the death was a clear case of homicide -- the killing of one person by another. "Police don't like the sound of homicide. They think it sounds bad," he said.

Findings of homicide at inquests do not have any legal consequences.

The fact that Mr. Masuka, who was not normally a heavy drinker, had consumed more than twice the legal limit of alcohol may have swayed the jury away from a suicide finding.