Testing for gunshot residue wasn’t done on suspect in fatal shooting

It is alleged that Rylen Heavenfire shot his brother after the two got into an argument while hunting near Bragg Creek

content of the article

The gunshot residue test was not performed on the hands of fatal gunshot suspect Rylen Heavenfire because the officer who assigned the task didn’t know how to do it, his manslaughter trial heard Thursday.

advertising 2

content of the article

RCMP Cpl. Candice Hoysradt testified that an application was made to conduct the tests, but by the time the assigned officer was found to have failed to complete the task, it was too late.

content of the article

Hoysradt informed Defense Attorney Steve Wojick that Heavenfire was taken into custody at approximately 8:30 p.m. on October 25, 2019, shortly after his older brother Randen was killed by a single buckshot to the face.

She said the defendant was taken to the Tsuut’ina police station after the shooting on state lands near Bragg Creek.

“Mr. Heavenfire should be given a kit with gunshot residue,” Hoysradt said.

“It was requested by my staff sergeant,” she said.

“Typically, we require this type of testing for all firearms-related crimes.”

advertising 3

content of the article

“So it could provide evidence that Mr. Heavenfire fired a gun?” Wojick asked.

“Right,” Hoysradt replied.

“As far as I know, this test has not been conducted,” said the defender.

“That’s right.”

Hoysradt said she did not discover that the officer asked to complete the testing failed to do so several hours after Heavenfire was arrested.

“An eight-hour gap is too long,” the official said.

“You have decided at this point that too much time has passed that it is no longer practical?” asked Wojick.

“That and the fact that we had no continuity with Mr. Heavenfire.”

Hoysradt said that in the intervening hours, Heavenfire was transported in a police car and later placed in a cell and given water.

advertising 4

content of the article

Hoysradt also acknowledged that swabs had been taken from Randen Heavenfire’s hands during his autopsy, but these, too, were not tested for gunshot residue.

But she told Crown Prosecutor Vince Pingitore that even if residue were found on the deceased, it does not suggest he handled the firearm that caused his death.

“Anyone in that area (area) would have received gunshot residue,” she said of the deceased’s proximity to the gun.

Soot on the dead man’s face indicated he was shot at close range.

The Crown has claimed Rylen Heavenfire shot and killed his brother after the pair got into an argument while hunting and drinking near their grandparents’ home.

But in a police statement, the defendant said he passed out most of the time and it was possible the gun went off when his brother reached for it.

The jury will hear the final arguments from Pingitore and Wojick on Monday, followed by Judge Michele Hollins’ final guidance on the law.

[email protected]

Twitter: @KMartinCourts

    Display 1


Postmedia strives to maintain a vibrant but civilized forum for discussion and encourages all readers to share their views on our articles. Comments may take up to an hour to be moderated before they appear on the site. We ask that you keep your comments relevant and respectful. We’ve turned on email notifications – you’ll now receive an email when you get a reply to your comment, there’s an update on a comment thread you follow, or when a user you follow comments follows. For more information and details on how to customize your email settings, see our Community Guidelines.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *