‘I’ll never call the cops again,' says widow of Langley man shot by RCMP officer
Alvin Wright’s widow, Heather Hannon, broke down crying while listening to the 911 call she made to police on Aug. 7, 2010, in an incident that ended with her boyfriend being shot and killed by a Langley RCMP officer.
When asked by her lawyer, Don Sorochan, whether she would call 911 again if she knew it would result in her boyfriend being killed, she cried that she would not.
“I’ll never call the cops again for anything,” Hannon said, on the first day of the coroner’s inquest into the shooting death of 22-year-old Alvin Wright.
The jury at coroner Vincent Stancato’s inquest, being held this week in Burnaby, learned that after a day and night of drinking, the couple got into an argument about how to get home.
Hannon wanted to take a cab, she testified. Wright didn’t like leaving his vehicle and wanted to drive home drunk.
He ended up walking home and a drunk Hannon drove the vehicle home, with Wright’s brother, Alister, and her best friend, Celeste Sidor, in the car.
Ten minutes after the group arrived at the couple’s townhouse at 203 Street and 53 Avenue, Wright arrived home, angry with his girlfriend.
She testified that she wasn’t sure what he was angry about, exactly, but it was probably to do with her driving home without him, even though she’d pulled over and asked him to get into the car. He had refused.
The argument escalated, with Alvin telling Hannon to get out. She left the house with Sidor. Alvin’s brother testified that he locked the door behind her because his brother had told her to get out.
After being kicked out of the house, Hannon wanted to go back inside to get some of her things.
“I wanted my stuff, so I called 911 because I wanted assistance to get my stuff,” she said.
On the 911 tape a crying Hannon can be heard saying, “please come.”
She then hung up and called again, saying: “I need you to come because he won’t let me in.”
During her testimony, Hannon said her call to 911 had been “an overreaction.”
The dispatcher can be heard on the line with Hannon instructing her to go to the street to meet with the officer. While she waited with an officer, other officers went inside. She testified that she heard a bang, but didn’t know it was the sound of a gun being fired. It was Alister who told her that it was a gunshot.
Police had no history with Wright and Hannon at the address, it was learned. She said she remembers telling police that Alvin was upstairs, passed out.
After hearing the shot, she was held in a police car and told she couldn’t go back inside. She was held at the Langley detachment for what she described as a lengthy period of time. Police didn’t let her see her dad for some time. They also seized her phone.
Alister testified earlier that he never heard police announce themselves to Alvin, nor say things like “put the weapon down” before the shot rang out.
He also told the inquest the events of that night happened too long ago for him to remember exactly what had occurred.
Police allege that Alvin was hiding in his bedroom closet armed with a machete and knife. After what police say was repeated requests to put the knives down, Alvin came at them. Sgt. Don Davidson fired one shot to Alvin’s midsection. He died the next day in hospital.
Davidson, who has already been cleared by the Vancouver police department and the police commission of any wrongdoing in the shooting, is expected to take the stand on Tuesday morning to give his version of events.
The jury learned that the first officer on the scene had less than three months’ experience on the job and had decided not to arrive with sirens and lights.
Sidor testified that she was too drunk to recall the events of that night and only remembers being held in the back of a police car.
The couple’s daughter — who was nine months old at the time — was not home at the time of the shooting.
The inquest continues.