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VanHouwe public fatality inquiry

VanHouwe public fatality inquiry

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Published by CTV Calgary
Report to the Minister of Justice
and Attorney General
Report to the Minister of Justice
and Attorney General

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Published by: CTV Calgary on Jul 19, 2013
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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07/20/2013

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 J0338 (2007/03)
C
ANADA
Province of Alberta
Report to the Minister of Justiceand Attorney GeneralPublic Fatality Inquiry
Fatality Inquiries Act
WHEREAS a Public Inquiry was held at the The Calgary Courts Centrein the City of Calgary , in the Province of Alberta,
(City, Town or Village) (Name of City, Town, Village)
on the 14
th
day of February , 2012 , and by adjournment
year
on the 15
th
days of February , 2012 , and by adjournment
year
on the 16
th
day of February 2012 , and by adjournment
year
 
on the 16
th
day of April 2012 .
year
before Judge G. Sean Dunnigan , a Provincial Court Judge,into the death of 
Melvin Donald Vanhouwe
49
(Name in Full) (Age)
of 372 Sabrina Bay, Calgary, Alberta and the following findings were made:
(Residence)
Date and Time of Death:
May 24, 2009 at 02:34 a.m.
 Place:
Foothills Hospital Medical Centre, Calgary, Alberta
Medical Cause of Death:
(“cause of death” means the medical cause of death according to the International Statistical Classification of Diseases, Injuriesand Causes of Death as last revised by the International Conference assembled for that purpose and published by the WorldHealth Organization – The Fatality Inquiries Act, Section 1(d)).
Multiple Gun Shot Wounds
Manner of Death:
(“manner of death” means the mode or method of death whether natural, homicidal, suicidal, accidental, unclassifiable orundeterminable – The Fatality Inquiries Act, Section 1(h)).
Homicide – Mr. Vanhouwe was shot by a member of the Calgary Police Service Tactical Unit afterhe had taken his neighbour hostage with a sawed-off shotgun.
 
Report – Page 2 of 9
 J0338 (2007/03)
 
CIRCUMSTANCES UNDER WHICH DEATH OCCURRED:
 
INTRODUCTION
[1]
 
In the early hours of May 24
th
, 2009, Melvin Donald Vanhouwe, in an agitated andintoxicated state, took his neighbour, Devin Gillingham, hostage at gunpoint.[2]
 
Calgary Service Police responded to the high-priority 911 call and confronted Mr.Vanhouwe during the armed hostage taking.[3]
 
As a result of Mr. Vanhouwe’s non-compliant and threatening response to policecommands, and in the interest of public safety and the protection of both the Calgary PoliceService and the hostage, the Calgary Police Tactical Unit found it necessary to fire several shotsat Mr. Vanhouwe, mortally wounding him.[4]
 
The subsequent autopsy confirmed the cause of death to be multiple gunshot wounds.[5]
 
At the time of the incident, Mr. Vanhouwe was subject to a 10 year weapons prohibitionissued December 29, 2003.
Witnesses testifying at this Inquiry 
[6]
 
Testimony from the following witnesses was heard from February 14
th
through 16
th
,2012 and again on April 16th, 2012:
February 14, 2012
-Kale KlutheResident at 506 Sabrina Road, S.W., Calgary (where incident occurred)/refrigeration mechanicDevin GillinghamResident at 506 Sabrina Road, S.W., Calgary (where incident occurred)Trades/heavy equipment operatorAndrew Cameron JorgensenSergeant, Calgary Police Service, member TAC unit / 30 years service
February 15, 2012
Sheldon Blain ScottConstable Calgary Police Service, member TAC unit / 12 years serviceAnthony Dean StilesConstable Calgary Police Service, member TAC unit / 8 years serviceRobert Kingsley WilliamsInspector, Calgary Police Service / 28 & ½ years serviceChristopher James KalynMember - Tactical Emergency Medical Services (TEMS) / 9 years service
 
Report – Page 3 of 9
 J0338 (2007/03)
 
February 16, 2012
Jeffrey Richard Van CaeyzeeleSenior Constable – Calgary Police Service, Alberta Law Enforcement ResponseTeam (ALERT) – 6 months service / 12 years service CPSRichard HoganSergeant, Calgary Police Service, Professional Standards Section / 7 years service;UK Police Services – covert investigations /10 years service
 April 16, 2012
Allan Preston Andrew BrownInvestigator, Alberta Serious Incident Response Team (ASIRT) - 4 years service /Calgary Police Service / 29 years service[7]
 
This Inquiry also received a letter from the deceased’s brother, Monty Vanhouwe, whodeclined to testify, raising two issues he sought to have addressed as follows:(i)
 
recommendations respecting such counseling as may have assisted hisbrother; and(ii)
 
recommendations on searches and seizures in the deceased’s premises asmay have disclosed his illegal possession of weapons and ensured theirremoval.
SUMMARY OF WITNESSES’ TESTIMONY
 [8]
 
On May 23
rd
, 2009, Devin Gillingham and his roommates, Kale Kluthe and Kyle Tanner,were entertaining themselves, friends and co-workers at their residence in south-west Calgary.Approximately 15 to 20 people attended the barbeque in the backyard and on the back deck.[9]
 
A couple of hours into the barbeque, Melvin Vanhouwe, a neighbour who resided acrossthe street from Mr. Gillingham’s residence, attended, uninvited, with a cooler of beer andbegan drinking and engaging the party guests.[10]
 
Mr. Vanhouwe appeared to be intoxicated but not extraordinarily so. At some point, asthe evening progressed, a number of the party-goers decided they wanted to go to the casino.Mr. Vanhouwe also wanted to go to the casino and went home, apparently to change. In theinterim, the casino-goers left in their vehicle without Mr. Vanhouwe.[11]
 
Devin Gillingham remained at the residence and went inside. Upon returning to theback yard, Mr. Vanhouwe discovered that the others had left for the casino without him and hebecame enraged, overturning furniture and a stereo system, all of which was recorded onsecurity cameras located at the home.[12]
 
Mr. Vanhouwe returned to his house and retrieved a prohibited pistol-grip sawed-off shotgun. He then returned to the residence across the street, knocked on the door and told

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