METRO VANCOUVER — Innocent Surrey Six victim Chris Mohan died from a bullet wound to his neck that "caused severe traumatic damage" to his spinal cord, pathologist Dr. John Charlesworth testified Tuesday.
Charlesworth said the fatal shot would have caused Mohan, who was 22 when he got caught in the gangland slaughter, to stop breathing.
He told Justice Catherine Wedge that a second bullet shot into Mohan's head just behind his left ear did "surprising little" damage because it missed the brain and spinal column.
"It would be obviously uncomfortable. It would bleed profusely," said Charlesworth, chief pathologist at New Westminster's Royal Columbian Hospital.
"It hasn't actually hit anything that would result in death."
Charlesworth testified that he did the autopsies on all six men who were gunned down on Oct. 19, 2007 in Surrey's Balmoral Tower.
One by one, he testified about what the autopsies showed, while reviewing photographs that were not on display for the courtroom gallery.
Accused killer Michael Le appeared to be calling up some of the photos on his laptop, while his co-accused Matthew Johnston and Cody Haevischer just listened to the testimony.
Mohan's mother Eileen was in court as Charlesworth described the injuries her son sustained.
Victim Ryan Bartolomeo's mom Rose was also in court as Charlesworth testified that the 19-year-old was shot six times - four bullets to the head and neck and two to the right hand.
All but one of the bullets exited his body, the pathologist said.
One of those went through the "muscles of the neck and upper back" and into the left lung before exiting through his mid-armpit area, the doctor said.
"Any wounds through the chest that involve the lung bleed quite profusely," Charlesworth said.
He said police officers were on standby as he did all six autopsies on Oct. 22 and 23, 2007.
Where bullets were removed from bodies, police took them as evidence, he said.
Police officers also photographed and fingerprinted the bodies and took DNA samples to confirm the victims' identities.
All six were still officially unidentified when the autopsies began and had been assigned nicknames, Charlesworth explained.
Victim Michael Lal had two bullet wounds to his back, one close to the neck area, Wedge was told.
The upper bullet "perforated the lung and passed through a portion of the heart," Charlesworth testified.
"It was immediately life-threatening."
The second bullet hit the pancreas and was not immediately life-threatening, he said.
Charlesworth explained to prosecutor Geoffrey Baragar that he couldn't say which bullets were fired first from looking at the wounds.
His testimony about the other victims - Corey Lal, Eddie Narong and Ed Schellenberg - continues this afternoon.
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