By Donna Smith
APTN National News
TORONTO–The two Toronto police officers involved in the 2008 shooting of a 28-year-old First Nations man are scheduled to testify Tuesday at the coroner’s inquest looking into the death.
Byron Debassige was shot in the chest by police in a city park after he had stolen two lemons from a food market.
Debassige, who was diagnosed with schizophrenia, was chased by the store owner. Debassige then pulled out a knife with a three-inch blade and threatened the store owner.
Police, responding to a report of an armed robber, found Debassiage drunk and signing in the park and wielding a knife. They shot him after a confrontation.
Debassige’s family issued a statement saying they hoped the inquest would give them some answers.
“We are sorry this day had to come. Byron’s death was senseless. It is our hope that the coroner’s inquest can help us in answering questions about Byron’s death,” said the statement.