Inquiry begins into West Kootenay RCMP shooting death

Const. Jason Tait faces charges in the 2015 shooting death of Waylon Jesse Edey in Castlegar

Lawyers are arguing this week whether there’s enough evidence to send a Castlegar RCMP officer to trial for manslaughter.

Const. Jason Tait of the West Kootenay Traffic Services unit was charged in April 2018 in connection with the death of Waylon Jesse Edey during a traffic stop near Castlegar in January 2015.

The charges came after a lengthy investigation by B.C.’s police watchdog, the Independent Investigations Office.

RELATED: RCMP officer accused in Castlegar shooting death elects jury trial

According to civil court documents, the incident occurred when officers with the Castlegar RCMP and West Kootenay Traffic Services responded to a complaint of an impaired driver in the Castlegar area.

Police located the suspect driving west on Highway 3 on the Kinnaird Bridge in south Castlegar.

According to the documents, Tait had pulled over, gotten out of his police car on foot, and tried to get the driver to pull over. Tait allegedly fired his service pistol when the driver did not stop.

Edey was taken to hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

RELATED: Man fatally shot by RCMP had history of impaired driving

None of the allegations, or the circumstances of Edey’s death, have been proven either in a criminal trial or civil suit.

Defence lawyer David Butcher and Crown attorney Cory Lo are continuing their preliminary arguments before Judge Mark Takahashi in Castlegar this week.

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RCMP officer Jason Tait is charged with manslaughter in connection with a shooting incident in January 2015. (File photo)

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