Twenty-year-old Victoria resident Rhett Mutch was shot and killed by police on Nov. 1.

Twenty-year-old Victoria resident Rhett Mutch was shot and killed by police on Nov. 1.

24-hour mental health crisis team called for in wake of Mutch police shooting

Coroner’s jury wants more funding, training and communication between police and health officials

Rhett Mutch had threatened to kill himself with a knife when police responded to his mother’s home on Dallas Road in Victoria on Nov. 1, 2014.

Instead, the troubled 20-year-old died from a bullet to his neck, fired by one of the officers called there to help.

A Coroner’s Jury wants the B.C. government to adequately fund a coordinated crisis team to be trained and in place around the clock in order to help ensure others going through an acute mental health event don’t suffer a similar fate.

It is one of 12 recommendations a jury has made following an inquest this week into Mutch’s death.

According to a media release issued late Friday by the BC Coroner’s Service, the recommendations focus on police response for those in mental health crises, as well as expanding support for youth transitioning out of government care.

In the aftermath of testimony that kicked off Monday in B.C. Supreme Court in Victoria, the jury found that Mutch died as a result of a gunshot wound to the neck, and classified the death as suicide.

The jury’s recommendations were as follows:

To the Ministry of Health:

1. To provide adequate funding to the Integrated Mobile Crisis Response team program to be able to provide services 24 hours per day, seven days per week.

To the Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General:

2. To ensure that online retraining for Crisis Intervention De-escalation is refreshed with new and relevant scenarios every two years.

3. To consider a worn (bodycam style) automatic audio and/or audio visual (gps and timestamp) device to assist and supplement the review of radio and/or cell phone records of events.

To the Ministry of Children and Familiy Development:

4. To have fully supported transition (Multi-discipinary/Collaborative) plans from child, to youth, to young adult, to 19 plus.

5. To ensure the Young Adult Program adds a Life Skill Options component to its program with an option to renew every three months up to age 25.

6. To maintain continuation of same support workers as a child ages.

To the South Island Police Departments:

7. All members to be made aware of and encouraged to participate in care services after a critical incident.

To Prime BC and Integrated Mobile Crisis Response Team:

8. That an MOU be entered into by both agencies so a record of attendance at a residence, and /or complainant, by the Integrated Mobile Crisis Response team is noted and “Flagged” in Prime.

To Police Chiefs of Southern Vancouver Island and Island Health:

9. To require that after a defined number of multiple crises calls to police from a single source are received, the following will occur (a) an early intervention from appropriate Ministries is initiated and (b) a collaborative safety plan is created.

To the Independent Investigations office and the BC Association of Police Chiefs:

10. Consider amending the MOU between the agencies to ensure that police officers can debrief in a timely manner.

To Prime BC and the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Children and Family Development:

11. To enter into an MOU to provide access to information between all three agencies.

To the Legal Aid Society of BC:

12. To provide a fee category for legal representation at a Coroners Inquest for the family of the deceased person.

Inquests are called to determine the facts surrounding a death. Juries may not find fault or blame but may make recommendations aimed at preventing future deaths in similar circumstances.

The Independent Investigations Office (IIO) of B.C. cleared a Victoria police officer of any wrongdoing in June of 2016.

Mutch’s mother, Marney Mutch, has launched a wrongful death suit against the Victoria Police Department and the City of Victoria in connection with the incident.

coroner

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

Just Posted

Andrew Swanson was arrested Wednesday after he was wanted for an alleged choking assault and for obstructing police. (Black Press Media File Photo)
Victoria police arrest Andrew Swanson on warrants for alleged choking assault, obstruction

A member of the public spotted Swanson and called 911 before police came and made the arrest

(Black Press Media file photo)
Youth sustains minor injuries in stabbing at Saanich Plaza

Suspect under age of 16 taken into custody, no risk to the public, police say

Al Kowalko shows off the province’s first electric school bus, running kids to three elementary and two secondary schools on the West Shore. (Zoe Ducklow/News Staff)
West Shore proud owners of B.C.’s first electric school bus

No emissions, no fuel costs and less maintenance will offset the $750K upfront expense

A B.C. Centre for Disease Control map showing new COVID-19 cases by local health area for the week of April 25-May 1. (BCCDC image)
Vancouver Island’s COVID-19 case counts continue to trend down

Fewer than 200 active cases on the Island, down from highs of 500-plus earlier this spring

Sue Hodgson returns as publisher of the Peninsula News Review starting June 1. (Courtesy Sue Hodgson)
Peninsula News Review welcomes back Sue Hodgson as publisher

Dale Naftel takes helm of Oak Bay News as publisher

Protesters attempt to stop clear-cutting of old-growth trees in Fairy Creek near Port Renfrew. (Will O’Connell photo)
VIDEO: Workers, activists clash at site of Vancouver Island logging operation

Forest license holders asking for independent investigation into incident

Anyone with information on any of these individuals is asked to call 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or visit the website victoriacrimestoppers.ca for more information.
Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of May 4

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

(Black Press Media file photo)
POLL: Do you plan to travel on the Victoria Day long weekend?

It’s the unofficial start to the summer season. A time of barbecues,… Continue reading

Starting Tuesday, May 11, B.C. adults born in 1981 and earlier will be able to register for a vaccine dose. (Haley Ritchie/Black Press Media)
BC adults 40+ eligible to book COVID-19 vaccinations next week

Starting Tuesday, people born in 1981 and earlier will be able to schedule their inoculation against the virus

Parks Canada and Tla-o-qui-aht Tribal Parks dig the washed up Princess M out from sand along the south shore of the Pacific Rim National Park Reserve. (Nora O’Malley photo)
Rescue attempt costs man his boat off Pacific Rim National Park Reserve

Coast Guard response questioned after volunteer responder’s speedboat capsizes in heavy swells

Road sign on Highway 1 west of Hope warns drivers of COVID-19 essential travel road checks on the highways into the B.C. Interior. (Jessica Peters/Chilliwack Progress)
B.C. residents want travel checks at Alberta border, MLA says

Police road checks in place at highways out of Vancouver area

People line up for COVID-19 vaccination at a drop-in clinic at Cloverdale Recreation Centre on Wednesday, April 27, 2021. Public health officials have focused efforts on the Fraser Health region. (Aaron Hinks/Peace Arch News)
B.C. reports 1st vaccine-induced blood clot; 684 new COVID cases Thursday

Two million vaccine doses reached, hospital cases down

More than 6,000 camping reservations in British Columbia were cancelled as a result of a provincial order limiting travel between health regions. (Unsplash)
1 in 4 camping reservations cancelled in B.C. amid COVID-19 travel restrictions

More than 6,500 BC Parks campsite reservations for between April 19 and May 25 have been revoked

Most Read