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Prosecutors clear man involved in fatal Yellowknife fight


Police in the NWT say a man has been cleared of wrongdoing after a fight at Yellowknife’s day shelter led to another person passing away.

A homicide investigation, which was not initially publicized by police and has not been previously reported, began after an altercation on July 26, 2022 led to the death of a 32-year-old man.

Unconscious after the fight, the man was first taken to Yellowknife’s Stanton Territorial Hospital and then medevaced to Edmonton, police said in a Wednesday news release. While in Edmonton, RCMP stated, the man “was eventually taken off life support and succumbed to his injuries.”

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Police did not name either person involved.

The surviving man was arrested and interviewed by investigators, RCMP stated, then released without charges being laid. Officers reviewed a video recording of the incident which, police said, “showed that the deceased man was the aggressor.”

RCMP stated a review by Crown prosecutors concluded that the surviving man had been “acting in self-defence and his actions were reasonable and proportionate to the force being used against him.”

The investigation has been concluded, police said, and no further action will be taken.

“Police investigate to discover the facts of an incident, and then assess whether the facts merit criminal charges being laid,” said Sgt Jason Hurley, of NWT RCMP’s major crimes unit, in a statement.

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“In a serious and tragic incident such as this, we often get an opinion from the Public Prosecution Service of Canada to determine if the legal threshold has been met for charges.

“In this case, the threshold was not met, as the suspect had a legitimate fear for his own wellbeing and acted proportionately to protect himself from that imminent threat to his safety.”