A retired firefighter was forced to withstand some intense cross-examination Monday as he recounted the events he witnessed 13 months ago when Montreal police shot a hammer-wielding Alain Magloire to death on Berri.

Perry Bisson offered a precise description of the events as he recalled them, noting that Magloire was not carrying the hammer in a threatening way. However, lawyers at the coroners inquest questioned Bisson's objectivity, noting that he took part in an anti-police brutality protest shortly after the events.

Bisson told CTV Montreal after the session that his politics played no part in his description of what he saw on the day Magloire, a 41-year-old former Biochemistry researcher was killed.

“There was a weapon pointed through my car at Magloire. I was scared of getting hit. I recalled that someone had previously been killed by an errant police bullet,” said Bisson.

Bisson said that one officer was on his left, three others on his right and several had guns drawn.

“I’m not qualified to evaluate their work but if I’m with three others and a man tries to rob us with a hammer, we’d be able to get him under control. Bar bouncers frequently deal with people holding broken bottles and they’re able to get them under control, so I don’t get why the police didn't use that technique or approach.”

Magloire, a father of two, was acting erratically, as he suffered a mental episode reportedly triggered by ingesting a ecstasy tablet at a rave party.

The inquest is expected to continue all week.