Edmonton police investigating death of Dene man in university hospital

The Edmonton police have opened a probe into the death of Darryl Sabourin, a Dene man and father of four from Hay River, N.W.T., after he died in a local hospital.

On March 4, Sabourin, 45, who was addicted to alcohol checked himself into the University of Alberta Hospital in Edmonton for detox treatment.

He died two days later.

Shauna Gordon, Sabourin’s sister-in-law, was co-raising his four children.

“I have grieving kids in my house who are crying all night,” Gordon told APTN News. “They are in therapy already. So a lot of healing and a lot of things are going to happen in my home. And it’s lifelong. They are not going to have a father.”

Gordon said Sabourin was trying to turn his life around, look for work and get a grip on his drinking problem.

According to the family, Sabourin died after an altercation with what are called peace officers who act as security at the hospital. She said he became unresponsive after being restrained and couldn’t be revived. She said he had visible bruising on his face and blood coming from his nose. The altercation started when he became agitated – but it’s not clear from what.

Police would only confirm that an investigation is taking place. Alberta Health Services, the province body that oversees health services in the province, told APTN that the organization has been in touch with the family and that the medical examiner’s office is “currently reviewing the case.”

Raiden Sabourin, 19, is his oldest son.

“In times where I felt so alone, in times where I felt like I had nobody, I always had my dad to call you know? Because I knew that he would always be there. He would always be there to talk, and he always had good advice,” he said.

Gordon said she wants justice if wrongdoing is found.

“This is the second death in the family of Aboriginal people in one year,” she said. “My brother passed away last year, June 1st going to the hospital dealing with mental health.

“He reached out and he died at the hospital. Now this is the second death where another brother went to the hospital for help and he died at the hospital.”

Editor’s Note: The original story used the wrong name for Shauna Gordon. APTN regrets the error. 

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