Inquest announced years after Hamilton double-murder suspect found dead in hotel room

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Published December 1, 2023 at 5:05 pm

inquest hamilton murder david thomson death brantford

A coroner’s inquest into the death of a man who was a suspect in a double homicide in Hamilton has been announced. 

Today (Dec. 1), the province announced that an inquest will be held into the death of David Thomson.

Thomson, 33, died inside a Brantford hotel room on Nov. 3, 2019, while Hamilton Police officers attempted to convince him to surrender himself into their custody. 

The province says an inquest into his death is mandatory under the Coroners Act.

According to Hamilton police, Thomson was identified as a suspect in a double homicide that took place on the Central Mountain. He was wanted in connection with the murders of 62-year-old Hamilton man Donald Lowe and 32-year-old Hamilton woman Cheryl Nicholl. Police say both victims were found dead on Nov. 2, 2019, having succumbed to gunshot wounds. 

They were believed to have been targeted. 

According to a Special Investigations Unit (SIU) report, police were called to a Days Inn on Fairview Drive shortly before 11 p.m. on Nov. 3. 

The SIU says that after guests were evacuated from the hotel, police attempted to contact Thomson but did not receive a response from within his room. The report goes on to say that while officers were outside of the hotel, a gunshot was heard coming from a room on the first floor. 

The SIU says that when officers entered the room, they discovered Thomson on the bed with a gunshot wound to the head and a handgun under his left hand. 

He had no vital signs when he was found, according to the report.

Joseph Martino, director of the SIU, cleared police at the scene of any wrongdoing in connection with Thomson’s death.

“Whether [Thomson] had intended to take his own life prior to the arrival of police, or whether he decided to do so only after he became aware of the presence of police, is unknown. What is clear, however, is that no police officer was in his room at the time of the shooting, nor did any police officer discharge a firearm at any time,” he wrote in his decision. 

In a news release, the province said the inquest will examine the circumstances surrounding Thomson’s death and the jury may make recommendations “aimed at preventing further deaths.”

Details regarding the date and location will be provided when the information becomes available.

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