The coroner's inquest into the police shooting death of Montreal teenager Fredy Villanueva resumed on Tuesday after a five-week break, with a ballistics expert testifying that the gun that killed Villanueva was held just 15 inches from him when he was shot on Aug. 9, 2008 by Montreal police officer Jean-Loup Lapointe.

Eric Hudon explained that he came to that conclusion based on the traces of gun powder on Villanueva's clothing.

Hudon said there was no doubt that the three bullets fired came from Lapointe's gun.

Reports from officers

Lapointe and fellow officer Stephanie Pilotte submitted written reports giving their account of what happened on the night Villanueva was fatally shot.

The officers said they wanted to question Fredy Villanueva's brother, Dany, who was seen playing dice with a group of others at a park in Montreal North.

Lapointe alleges that Dany Villanueva became aggressive.

"The individual kept getting close -- less than three feet away -- while frantically moving his hands and shouting. I felt trapped between him and my car," Lapointe wrote.

Pilotte says she intervened after Lapointe tried to arrest Villanueva, but was met with resistance.

"I tried to grab his legs to calm him down, but it didn't work -- he kept kicking me. I tried to concentrate on his lower body, so I had no knowledge of what else was going on," Pilotte wrote.

Lapointe says the group of youths kept getting closer to him, and refused to back off. He alleges that Dany Villanueva punched him in the face, and repeatedly struck him in the head.

"One (of the youths) grabbed my throat and I could see his other hand getting close to my gun...another one grabbed me by the arm and chest," Lapointe wrote.

"I had no choice but to pull out my gun, and I aimed at the person closest to me. I began to shoot and I only stopped when people backed away." 

Photos released at the inquest show Lapointe had a small cut on his elbow, while Pilotte suffered minor scrapes on her knees.

Pilotte's testimony will resume on Wednesday.

Inquest expected to last until summer 2010

The coroner presiding over the inquest into Villanueva's death indicated on Tuesday that the proceedings could last until next summer.

Coroner Andre Perrault set new dates for hearings, which could last until June 2010.

Despite the extension, Perrault said he would not be granting "interested party" status to all who requested it.

He said if he had granted all of the requests submitted during the proceedings, he would have heard from at least 120 witnesses.