Murder charge stayed against Delta Police officer

Const. Jordan MacWilliams shot Mehrdad Bayrami after abduction, armed stand-off.

Police were in an hours-long standoff with Merhrdad Bayrami outside Starlight Casino in November 2012 that ended with Bayrami being shot.

A Delta Police officer will no longer face a second-degree murder charge for shooting a man during an armed standoff outside a New Westminster casino in 2012.

The Criminal Justice Branch (CJB) announced Tuesday that a stay of proceedings had been entered, saying evidence in the case against Const. Jordan MacWilliams “no longer satisfies its charge approval standard for the continued prosecution.”

Mehrdad Bayrami, 48, was shot on Nov. 8, 2012 outside Starlight Casino. Early that day, he had accosted his ex-girlfriend, confining her for more than an hour, holding a gun to his own head for much of the time. Bayrami was under a court order to have no contact with the woman.

The woman was eventually escorted to safety by police, and a three-and-a-half standoff ensued with Bayrami.

MacWilliams, part of the Municipal Integrated Emergency Response Team (MIERT), was among about 27 officers at the scene, who repeatedly told Bayrami to put down his weapon and surrender. As Bayrami walked around waving his gun, MacWilliams shot him in the abdomen. He died later in hospital.

The officer did not deny shooting the victim, but in a statement to the CJB through his lawyer, said he felt justified using lethal force because “if he didn’t stop [Mr. Bayrami] immediately, the suspect would shoot Cst. MacWilliams or one of his team members.”

MacWilliams was charged in October last year after an investigation by the province’s Independent Investigation Office (IIO). Since then, the CJB said, Crown Counsel obtained additional evidence from witness interviews and further information from the IIO and other sources. As a result, Crown undertook a “comprehensive file review” and determined the evidence no longer supported the murder charge or any other criminal offence.

In April, the woman held hostage by Bayrami spoke out in support of MacWilliams, calling he and the officers involved in the incident that day heroes.

Delta Police said Tuesday the decision to stay the charge was a relief not only to MacWilliams and his family, but to all police officers.

“As police officers, we are called upon to make instantaneous, life-or-death decisions,” said Chief Const. Neil Dubord. “We sometimes encounter violent situations that force us to react in a manner to protect the public and ourselves. Police officers across Canada continue to sign on to this job knowing that we will face risk and the resulting scrutiny.”

There is a pending civic suit against MacWilliams, the Corporation of Delta filed by Bayrami’s daughter last year.

 

Surrey North Delta Leader

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Leap Day birthday for Volunteer Cancer Drivers Society in Surrey and region

For these ‘Angels on Wheels,’ growth in Surrey area ‘has been remarkable’

Wally Oppal says policing ‘too important’ to be left to the police

Oppal was keynote speaker at a Surrey Board of Trade “Hot Topic Dialogue” breakfast event Wednesday

White Rock man says landlord ‘threatened’ tenants for seeking cash after no heat over Christmas

Porte Realty VP says original notice was harsh and quickly replaced

Surrey man charged with murder in West Kelowna tries to change guilty plea

Following an shocking guilty plea on Feb. 25, Tejwant Danjou applied to retract that plea on Feb. 26

VIDEO: Wet’suwet’en supporters vow to keep protesting at B.C. legislature

Supporters say they will continue ongoing action to hold government accountable

VIDEO: Province promotes ‘lifting each other up’ on 13th annual Pink Shirt Day

Students, MLAs, community members gathered at B.C. Parliament Buildings Wednesday

Prepare for new coronavirus like an emergency, health minister advises

About 81,000 people around the world have now become ill with COVID-19

B.C. residents in Wet’suwet’en territory have right to police presence: Public Safety Minister

Nevertheless, Bill Blair said officials remain ‘very anxious’ for the barricades to come down

Winnipeg police investigating graffiti on RCMP and other buildings

Manitoba Justice Minister Cliff Cullen denounced the vandalism

B.C. seniors’ watchdog calls for better oversight after recent problems at Retirement Concepts care homes

‘There is no financial incentive right now to be a good operator’ - Isobel Mackenzie

Cypress Mountain offers free lift tickets March 13 in honour of snowboarding pioneer

Jake Burton Carpenter invented the sport of snowboarding

Trucking company fined $175K for Kootenay creek fuel spill

Decision handed down last Friday in Nelson court

Most Read