A Delta Police officer charged with murdering a man outside a New Westminster Casino in 2012 says he shot the man because he feared he would kill himself or others.
Const. Jordan MacWilliams filed his response to a civil lawsuit in which the daughter of the deceased accuses the officer of shooting her dad “without warning or justification.”
Mehrdad Bayrami, 48, was shot after a five-hour stand-off with the regional emergency response team, who had been called to the scene early Nov. 8, 2012 after reports of shots being fired. They arrived to find Bayrami armed with a handgun and apparently distraught. He had initially taken a female hostage, who police rescued.
MacWilliams’ statement of defence says Bayrami pointed a gun at police seconds before he was shot in the abdomen.
“MacWilliams had a reasonable fear that the handgun would be fired, thereby creating a risk of death or grievous bodily harm to himself or others,” the statement reads.
Bayrami’s daughter, Nousha Bayrami, filed suit against MacWilliams last November, claiming her dad was walking backwards away from police with his arms by his sides when he was shot.
None of the allegations have been proven in court.
Last year, MacWilliams was charged criminally with second-degree murder in connection with the shooting, following an inquiry by the province’s Independent Investigation Office (IIO). He is now on paid administrative leave from the Delta Police Department, and has received support from fellow officers wearing wristbands with his badge number.
Meanwhile, the woman held hostage at the casino by her ex-boyfriend, Bayrami, is voicing her support for MacWilliams.
Tetiana Pilsina told CTV Vancouver said she was terrified Bayrami was going to shoot her before she was rescued, and even shot at the car she was in.
She believes the officers at the casino that day, including MacWilliams, are heroes.
Anyone who protects us, they’re heroes,” she said.