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Officer says B.C. hostage was lying on top of captor before police gunfire erupted

BURNABY, B.C. — The first police officer to enter a room where a woman was being held hostage in 2019 has told a B.C. coroner’s inquest that he saw her lying on a bed on top of her captor, who was holding a knife to her throat with a gun in his other hand.

Cpl. Chris Dibblee told the inquest jury that he almost immediately felt he would need to shoot Randy Crosson to save Nona McEwan but initially didn’t think he could do so without hitting her too.

Dibblee testified that when McEwan shifted and exposed Crosson’s torso, he shot at the man 14 times and other officers began firing as well.

The jury has been hearing testimony this week about the March 2019 hostage situation in Surrey, B.C., that ended with both Crosson and McEwan being killed by police bullets.

Dibblee testified that after the shooting stopped, McEwan was moved into the kitchen and initially treated by officers who are trained medics for two gunshot wounds to her torso and arm.

A report by the province’s police watchdog cleared officers of wrongdoing in the deaths and reported that investigators later found “a realistic-looking replica pistol” at the scene.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 18, 2024.

The Canadian Press

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