Barbara Goddyn remembers feeling concern for the young man she heard yelling “kill me, kill me, kill me now, sorry, mom, sorry,” in the early morning hours of July 18, 2015.
“I was scared for him,” the South Surrey woman said Monday (March 1), testifying during a coroner’s inquest as to her impression of the male she saw in the moments prior to Hudson Brooks’ shooting death.
The male was walking down the middle of 18 Avenue at the time, westbound toward 152 Street, Goddyn told the inquest. He was shirtless and waving his hands back and forth.
Brooks was fatally shot by police shortly after, outside the South Surrey RCMP detachment, during an altercation police at the time initially described as involving a suicidal male.
Following an investigation by the Independent Investigations Office of B.C., charges of aggravated assault and assault with a weapon were announced against Const. Elizabeth Cucheran in December 2017 in connection with the shooting.
Cucheran was ordered to stand trial following a preliminary inquiry, however, B.C. Prosecution Service officials announced in September 2019 that further investigation determined the evidence no longer supported prosecuting the officer for any criminal offence.
This week’s inquest – underway at the Burnaby Coroner’s Court in Metrotown – is a formal effort to examine the circumstances that led to Brooks’ death and provide an opportunity for recommendations that could prevent a death under similar circumstances in the future.
Brooks’ mother, Jennifer Brooks, was the first witness called. Reading from a prepared statement, she told the inquest that her son’s death was “like losing a limb.”
“I could not function or think,” Brooks said.
“Hudson did not deserve this. The pieces will never be brought together, a mother should never have to live without her child.”
Other witnesses included a friend of Hudson’s who spoke of sharing magic mushrooms with the 20-year-old and other friends at a party in the hours prior to his death; a police officer who recounted a violent attack on his vehicle, during which the young perpetrator was yelling, “I’m going to kill you”; and a motorist who told of witnessing a male “just screaming and yelling and banging” on a police car in the 1800-block of 152 Street that same morning.
Sgt. Stuart Gray told the inquest that his experience that morning was “far and beyond” anything he’d dealt with prior to that time in his policing career. He recalled briefly losing sight of the young man in question, then registering that “pop” noises he heard were likely gunshots.
Matthew Jordan confirmed for the inquest that he learned after sharing magic mushrooms with Hudson that it was his friend’s first time trying the hallucinogenic. Jordan also confirmed that he told IIO investigators he felt his friend “was going out of it, that he was no longer there,” that morning.
“Ya, I remember saying that,” Jordan said, in response to questions from David Kwan, counsel for the RCMP.
Jordan also told the inquest that prior to that morning, he “had never seen (Hudson) like that, ever.”
The inquest is scheduled for four days.
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