A picture of Bruce Moonias is held by his father Stanley prior to the resumption of the inquest into his 2006 death on Monday.
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After nearly seven years, the circumstances surrounding the death of a Neskantaga First Nation man are starting to emerge.
The coroner’s inquest investigating the death of Bruce Moonias heard details about gunfire and a troubled past on the first full day of proceedings at the provincial government building in Thunder Bay Monday.
Moonias died at Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre on December 11, 2006.
In his opening statement, coroner’s counsel Leonard Kim explained the post-mortem examination found the cause of Moonias’ death was a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the abdomen with a probable sepsis infection.
Kim went into further detail, telling the public hearing the gunshot wound came in the midst of a standoff between Moonias and the Nishnawbe Police Service and later the OPP.
The situation resulted in the provincial police force calling in their emergency tactical response flying in to the community located 400-kilometres north of Thunder Bay.
According to Kim’s opening statement, after hours of quiet and no activity, police entered the home and heard groaning and calls of help from inside. They found Moonias laying down with a gunshot wound, and blood throughout the home.
Moonias was immediately taken to the nursing station in the community, and ultimately flown to Thunder Bay where he died in surgery.
The morning portion of the proceedings saw the first witness of the inquest called, a neighbour in Neskantaga.
At the time, Jim Sagutch, was a neighbour of Moonias and lived across the street when the situation began on December 9.
Sagutch testified that he heard multiple gunshots ring out at approximately 11 p.m.
He continued to hear more shots after the initial round, and estimated that he heard approximately 10 shots in total.
The gunfire was heard throughout the community of Neskantaga, and alarmed the community.
Sagutch described Moonias, who was friends with his son, to be an easy-going and friendly individual, but said he had dreams about a dark figure.
During the opening statement to the five-member jury, Kim described how Moonias was a victim of sexual abuse as a child and a troubled family situation.
The inquest is scheduled to run over the next two weeks, and include testimony from members of the Neskantagacommunity, family of Moonias, medical experts and the police personnel who responded to the situation.
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