Daniel Peter Rintoul was shot and killed by police outside Canadian Tire in November 2016.
A BC Corners Service inquest was convened in Burnaby on Oct. 31 into the shooting death of a man by police in Vancouver.
Daniel Peter Rintoul, 38, died on November 10, 2016 after being shot by Vancouver Police Department officers outside a Canadian Tire store.
The shooting came after what appeared to be a robbery by a man who had ties to Falun Gong and was in his early 20s on the run with police in China.
Rintoul was shot by police after stabbing a store clerk and a police officer.
President Coroner Susan Bart and the jury will hear sworn evidence from witnesses to determine the facts surrounding this death.
A five-person jury can make recommendations aimed at preventing deaths in similar situations. A jury may not find legal liability or express any conclusion of law.
Police responded to the Canadian Tire store around 3 p.m. that day after receiving multiple 911 calls. A man wearing camouflage gear entered the store, located in a shopping complex that includes a Save-On Foods, stabbed and injured the store clerk and removed firearms from a gun cabinet, police said.
Inquest lawyer Chris Godwin said in a case opening review that Rinrule was armed with a knife and bear spray. Rintoul unsuccessfully attempted to load a gun on an employee after bear spraying him.
He then took an 82-year-old man hostage before leaving the store.
The man, Harry Burderer, has since died, but the inquest will see his video statement at BC’s Independent Investigations Office (IIO) inquiry into the death. The IIO investigates police-involved incidents that result in death or serious injury.
By then, two police officers, Gary Lee and Justin Fraser, had arrived, Godwin said. The hostage was freed and Rintoul used bear spray on the officers. He was later tasered.
Rinroll was restrained but broke free and stabbed and slashed an officer. At that point, police used their guns just before more officers arrived. Those officers used non-lethal Arwen guns and later guns.
“Mr. Rintroll died as a result of the interaction,” Godwin said.
Eyewitness Katharina Mitchell said the man was armed with a rifle and sprayed an unknown substance at an officer before falling to the ground.
Police said the man stabbed the officer multiple times before opening fire. The hostage was unharmed in the incident that drew dozens of police officers from Vancouver and Burnaby.
Godwin said Rinroll was living in a room at the time of his death and had a history of suicidal attempts.
Rinrule’s sister Sherry Cardel, who appeared in the video, was the first witness in the investigation.
“He was organized, loving, happy, very hyperactive and easily excited,” she said.
She added that these last two traits brought her brother into conflict with their authoritarian father, a former police officer who beat the boy.
She said Rinroll struggled and was bullied at school. She called herself his best friend and biggest defender.
“He was eccentric. He was very impulsive. He was very sensitive,” she said.
Cardell said their mother got Rintoul to control his anger after he started fighting.
He also engaged with her friends playing Dungeons and Dragons.
“He had a tremendous imagination,” she said.
Rintoul moved to Vancouver after living on the streets of Calgary, she said.
Cardall said her brother had strained friendships and was interested in playing games and being creative.
“He never developed that adult mindset,” she said.
“He was a very kind, loving and gentle man,” she said. “He had a terrible temper, but he usually turned his anger on himself. He was a big man, and he was very intimidating. He had no sense of personal space.
She added that his hug was “amazing”.
“You always feel safe with him.”
She said Rintroll shared some of his personal philosophy with her. “”We don’t need to work for ourselves,” he told her. “”We need to work for everyone.”
Psychiatrist Dr. Rintoul was referred to her unit after the suicide attempt. Danielle Chin told the inquest. She testified that he tried because he was getting nowhere in life.
He exhibited narcissistic traits as well as psychopathy, and she eventually decided not to seek treatment.
Chin said he could have been certified under the Mental Health Act and committed to a hospital if he felt he or others were at risk. But as a voluntary patient, that was not the case for Rintul.
“He wasn’t ready,” she said. “If he was willing, we had the resources to offer.”
Chin said Rinroll filed a complaint with his unit.
“He felt like he wasn’t being taken seriously,” she said.
Police said Rintoul was originally from Alberta and had written about practicing Falun Gong and his pending trip to China. Practitioners of Falun Gong or Falun Dafa say it is a meditative exercise based on honesty, compassion and tolerance, as taught by founder Li Hongzi.
According to a February 2002 Calgary Herald article, Rintol returned to Calgary from China, where he said he was arrested along with about 40 other Western Falun Gong practitioners. Rinroll also said he suffered bruises to his neck, forehead, arms and a swollen knee during clashes with police on his way to Beijing’s Tiananmen Square.
“Some police pulled me over,” he told the Herald. “They started pulling me and then the police started hitting and kicking me. One of them grabbed my throat and started choking me. I broke free, but then they put me in the car, where the officer pressed my face with his knee against the corner of the seat, then squeezed my face with his hand. I couldn’t breathe.
“He decided to follow certain principles in China for the religion of Falun Gong,” his sister said.
Independent Investigations Office probe
An IIO investigation into the death found that three officers fired 10 bullets from their pistols at Rintole, hitting him with nine rounds.
The February 2019 report said Rintoul was hit twice with a Taser, five “rubber bullet” rounds from an Arwen gun and pepper spray.
“The objective evidence proves it [the man] “The threat of deadly force posed a threat of deadly force to members of the public who were likely to leave the store and to the lives of the officers present who later testified about their personal threat assessment,” the report, signed by the chief civilian, said. Director Ronald J. MacDonald, Attorney Clinton J., Office of Investigation; Saddlemere.
“All of that evidence supports the reasonableness and necessity of Officers One, Two and Four’s decisions to fire. Officers 1, 2 and 4 performed their duties in accordance with the law. The evidence collected does not provide a basis for consideration of charges against any officer.
With files from Mike Howell