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Inquest determines Sask. man involved in altercation with police died from a gunshot wound to the abdomen

An inquest into the death of a 42-year-old man who was shot by RCMP during an altercation and later died has found that the cause of death was a gunshot wound to the abdomen.

The altercation between police and Ray Bitternose took place in July of 2021 on the George Gordon First Nation about 95 kilometres north of Regina.

Police were called to the scene after learning a man with a gun was allegedly threatening to shoot people.

Bitternose was treated on the scene by EMS and Stars Air Ambulance before being pronounced dead.

The six-person jury decided the manner of death could not be determined. This happens when the jury believes two or more means of death are equally probable, such as homicide or suicide.

The jury also heard that Bitternose struggled with mental health and pointed a rifle at an officer during the altercation and could be heard telling police to, “take the shot.”

To help prevent future deaths of a similar nature, 12 recommendations were made by the jury to the RCMP, government and SaskTel in terms of communication, training policies and resources.

-- With files from Allison Bamford. Top Stories

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