First Nations in mourning after fatal shooting of traditional carver
The Dididaht First Nation of British Columbia is in shock after one of its traditional carvers, John T. Williams, was fatally shot by a police officer in Seattle, Washington.

Chief Jack Thompson is on his way to Seattle to address the situation. “You read about things like this happening elsewhere, but you’re never ready for it when it happens to one of your own," he told The Alberni Valley News.

Williams, 50, lived on the streets and frequented social service programs in Seattle. He was well known in the city for his woodcarvings and was often seen in local parks with his knife and wood.

Officer Ian D. Birk, 27, saw Williams with the items and ordered him to drop the knife. Williams reportedly did not respond -- friends and family said he was deaf in one ear -- and Birk fired four shots at him.

“He was a carver carrying a knife – this could have been handled differently,” Thompson told the Valley News. “If they thought about the situation first things would have been different.”

The Dididaht First Nation is a part of the Nuu-Chah-Nulth First Nations.

Get the Story:
Vancouver Island carver shot dead by Seattle police (The Globe and Mail 9/3)
Vancouver Island woodcarver shot dead by Seattle police (The Vancouver Sun 9/3)
Community mourns Nuu-chah-nulth carver shot by Seattle police (The Alberni Valley News 9/2)

Some Opinions:
Police department investigates fatal shooting of homeless man (The Seattle Times 9/3)

Related Stories:
First Nations man shot and killed by officer was deaf in one ear (9/2)
First Nations man shot and killed by police officer in Washington (9/1)