Coroners inquest called into death of 88-year-old at seniors’ home in Agassiz

Rene Arnaud Vaugeois died Sept. 23, 2015 after altercation with police

  • Jan. 19, 2017 5:00 a.m.

The BC Coroners Service announced Thursday that a public inquest will be held into the death of 88-year-old Rene Armand Vaugeois at a seniors’ residence in Agassiz in 2015 during a police incident.

RCMP were called to the Cheam Village, an independent-living seniors’ residence shortly after 7 a.m. on Sept. 23, 2015. There were reports of a man holding a sharp object, believed to be a knife, near his stomach.

During an encounter between Vaugeois and police, pepper spray was deployed. He apparently also suffered some sort of a minor injury before his demise, but that was not thought to be the cause of death.

Medical assistance was provided but Vaugeois died before reaching hospital, according to the Coroner.

An RCMP member was also stabbed in the leg during the altercation. He was treated and released from hospital.

Because of the police involvement, the Independent Investigation Office of British Columbia was called in to investigate.

The inquest will begin Feb. 20 at 9:30 a.m. at the Coroners’ courtroom in Burnaby.

Presiding coroner Margaret Janzen and a jury will hear evidence from witnesses under oath to determine the facts surrounding this death. The jury will have the opportunity to make recommendations aimed at preventing deaths under similar circumstances.