09/09/2014 04:18 EDT | Updated 11/10/2014 05:59 EST

Greg Matters' Mother Suing National Police Force, B.C., Ottawa


PRINCE GEORGE, B.C. - The mother of a former Canadian soldier shot by RCMP in northern British Columbia is suing the RCMP, the province and the federal government over his death.

The civil lawsuit filed by Lorraine Matters also names an officer who arrested her as the standoff unfolded on Sept. 10, 2012, at the rural home she shared with her son, Greg, near Prince George, B.C.

"We're hoping for truth and justice," she said Tuesday.

Wednesday marks the anniversary of her son's death.

"It's hard to explain the pain, the missing of my son. It has not been an easy two years," she said.

Greg Matters was being treated for post-traumatic stress disorder at the time he was shot by a member of the RCMP emergency response team in the driveway outside his house.

Matters, 40, was honourably discharged from the military in 2009 after a 15-year career, and was already exhibiting signs of PTSD.

He had several run-ins with police, who had gone to his home that day to arrest him on a charge of assaulting his brother.

Officers said he was brandishing a hatchet and approaching an officer who had fallen when he was shot twice in the back with an M16 rifle.

RCMP were cleared of criminal wrongdoing in Matters' death but a coroner's inquest last year made nine recommendations, including improved support from the federal government for soldiers and veterans.

The statement of claim filed Tuesday seeks damages for battery, wrongful arrest, unlawful detention and malicious misconduct in the arrest of Lorraine Matters in the hours before her son was shot.

She had gone to the home to speak to him as the standoff developed and said the RCMP officer threw her to the ground, pressed an M16 against her neck and then had her held in custody for 14 hours.

The suit also seeks compensation for the wrongful death of Greg Matters.

A coroner's inquest can make no determination of fault, said Tracey Matters, Greg's sister. The family hopes more information will come out during testimony under oath in a courtroom, she said.

"We believe it should have been investigated as a criminal case," she said. "We can now only pursue this as a civil case.

"We want everyone to know the facts."

Earlier this year, the police watchdog agency that cleared police of wrongdoing announced a civilian monitor would review their investigation.

The report by the Independent Investigations Office came under scrutiny when it came to light during the coroner's inquest that Matters was shot in the back. The agency's April 2013 report said he was shot in the chest.

A supplemental report said the discrepancy was due to "unclear language."

The RCMP Public Complaints Commission is also conducting its own review into the actions of police involved in Matters' death.

- By Dene Moore in Vancouver