Constable Paul Koester said he was fighting for his life when he
shot Mr. Bush, 22, in a struggle at the RCMP detachment Oct. 29,
The New Westminster, B.C., police investigated the
shooting and concluded Constable Koester shouldn't be charged.
The public outcry that followed prompted B.C. Attorney
General Wally Oppal to make some details of the shooting public.
Mr. Oppal said Constable Koester was acting in self-defence.
The inquest heard Wednesday that Constable Koester asked his
safety officer whether he should go ahead with a charge of
obstruction against Mr. Bush for twice giving him a false name.
The officer said Mr. Bush had previous encounters with
police, including an incident where he fled police and dumped
his vehicle and was believed to have been intoxicated.
“That's not the way you do things,” Mr. Rubin said. “You
don't take a person to the detachment and teach him a lesson
just because he may have been a person in a previous
investigation. I mean they didn't charge him.
“But I think that was part of the reason that they were
Mr. Rubin said Constable Koester had given Mr. Bush a ticket
before “so where he said he didn't know him it might not be true
that he doesn't know him.”
Mr. Bush did not have a criminal record.
Pathologist Dr. John Stefanelli told the inquest Mr. Bush
probably died instantly when he was shot.
Dr. Stefanelli said the post mortem showed a gun had been
partially pressed to Mr. Bush's head.
The bullet tumbled through his brain, lodging inside above
Mr. Bush's eyebrows.
He said he couldn't determine whether bruising around Mr.
Bush's eyes was as a result of the bullet wound or of the
fracturing of his skull by the bullet or whether he had been
struck in the face.
There were also three circular lacerations near the entrance
wound, consistent with evidence from Constable Koester that he
struck Mr. Bush, 22, with the pistol before pulling the trigger.
Dr. Stefanelli said Mr. Bush's body was never refrigerated
before he did the autopsy and had started to decompose, which he
He said the decomposition did not affect his determination of
the cause of death but “it could have masked some bruising” that
he said may be clouded by decomposition.
Mr. Rubin, under cross-examination, pointed to Dr.
Stefanelli's failure to completely examine a bruise found on Mr.
Bush's left inner thigh.
Constable Koester testified Wednesday that putting a knee in
a suspect's groin was a submission technique that RCMP officers
are trained to use.
Constable Koester said he did not remember using such a
technique or kneeing Mr. Bush in the groin.