RCMP officers sued over shooting death

A lawsuit filed on Monday seeks unspecified compensation from six unnamed RCMP officers, four men and two women, and their superiors, for the alleged wrongful death of Alvin Wright, the false imprisonment of his spouse Heather Hannon and the infliction of mental distress on her following the shooting.

Lawyer Donald Sorochan complained the police have been giving more information to the Langley Time than they've given the family of Alvin Wright

Lawyer Donald Sorochan complained the police have been giving more information to the Langley Time than they've given the family of Alvin Wright



This week marks the one-year anniversary of the shooting death of Langley resident Alvin Wright, who died after he was shot by an RCMP officer during an August 6, 2010 confrontation inside his bedroom.

It was marked by Vancouver lawyer Donald Sorochan on Tuesday morning with the announcement the family has just filed a lawsuit against six unnamed RCMP officers.

Sorochan provided reporters with copies of the B.C. Supreme Court statement of claim that had been filed a few minutes earlier in the Vancouver court registry across the street from his Howe Street office.

The lawsuit seeks unspecified compensation from six unnamed RCMP officers, four men and two women and their superiors, for the alleged wrongful death of Wright, the false imprisonment of his spouse Heather Hannon and theĀ  infliction of mental distress on her following the shooting.

The court filing gives previously unreported details about the events at the two-storey townhouse on the southeast corner of 53 Avenue and 203 Street where the 22-year-old Wright lived with his common-law wife and their infant daughter.

According to the lawyer, police were called after Wright and his spouse got into a heated argument and he ordered her out of the house.

She wanted help getting some of her possessions from the baby’s room.

“There were no threats or acts of violence,” Sorochan said.

“At no point did Heather express any concern for her safety.”

When Hannon managed to get in the house ahead of policeĀ  while Wright was sleeping, she phoned the RCMP again and was told to leave the house.

Despite that, several officers went inside and entered the bedroom where Wright was sleeping.

They did not give any warning before they opened the door, Sorochan maintained.

Witnesses heard a single gunshot.

Wright was wounded in the stomach and was taken to hospital where he was declared dead the next day.

Police arrested Hannon at the scene and refused to let her contact a lawyer.

When she texted her father, Craig Hannon, an officer confiscated Hannon’s cell phone, Sorochan said.

“The police response to Heather was quite incredible,” Sorochan said.

When her father showed up at the Langley detachment, police refused to let him see his daughter for several hours, even though he could hear her distraught screams from the lobby.

“Disgraceful,” Sorochan said.

He also provided reporters with copies of the eulogy read at Wright’s funeral and copies of The Times front page of August 20, 2010, which reported that RCMP Supt. Derek Cooke had just reinstated the officer who fired the fatal shot.

That was the same day as Wright’s funeral, Sorochan said, and family and friends were outraged that the newspaper was told before they were.

Sorochan said the same thing occurred recently when The Times reported that the investigation was nearing an end.

He was “besieged” by phone calls from family members upset because they were not informed before the newspaper was, Sorochan said.

He has confirmed with the VPD that the investigation is expected to wrap up by the end of next month.

The lawyer said the investigation has been marked by excessive delays to get forensic evidence that should have been available in a matter of a few weeks, but took more than four months instead.

“I do not find it at all acceptable,” Sorochan said.

He said he has asked to see the forensic report and has been refused.

Claims made in the civil lawsuit have yet to be proven in court.