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News Release

SIU Concludes Sudbury Firearm Injury Investigation

Case Number: 12-OFI-299

Mississauga (7 January, 2013) --- The Director of the Special Investigations Unit (SIU), Ian Scott, has concluded that there are no reasonable grounds to charge a Greater Sudbury Police Service officer with a criminal offence in relation to the shooting injury sustained by a 35-year-old man in October of 2012.

The SIU assigned four investigators and two forensic investigators to probe the circumstances of this incident. As part of the investigation, 10 witness officers and eight civilian witnesses were interviewed. The subject officer declined to be interviewed or provide the SIU with a copy of his notes, as is his legal right. However, he did provide a signed statement.

The SIU investigation found that the following events took place on Monday, October 15:
• In the evening hours, the man was drinking alcohol at a friend’s residence in Hanmer.
• He left around 11 p.m., drove his red Ford F150 pickup truck into Sudbury, and stopped on Bruce Avenue. He did not have a valid driver’s licence or certificates of ownership or insurance for the vehicle.  
• When the man re-entered his vehicle, the subject officer who was driving a SUV police cruiser noticed him and decided to engage him in a traffic stop. The man drove away and the subject officer followed him.  The man then turned onto Bruyere Street, a short dead-end road with a turning area at the end.  He waited in an attempt to elude the police.  The subject officer saw him turn into the cul-de-sac, and followed him in.  The officer stopped his cruiser behind the vehicle, exited his cruiser and began walking toward it. 
• Instead of waiting to speak to the subject officer, the man suddenly executed a counter-clockwise 180 degree turn and drove toward the officer who was standing at this point between his police cruiser and the rapidly approaching pickup truck.  The subject officer drew his police-issued handgun and discharged it twice at the driver: one bullet shattered the driver’s window; the second projectile perforated the pillar behind the driver and entered and exited the soft tissue of his left shoulder above the left clavicle. The man continued to drive in a westerly direction to Morin Avenue where he turned southwest and continued to the end of the road.  He abandoned his vehicle and ran to hide behind some bushes. 
• He was arrested and transported to Sudbury Regional Hospital for treatment.

Director Scott said, “For two reasons, I am satisfied that the subject officer discharged his firearm while standing or walking just outside his police cruiser and in a position of vulnerability in relation to the man’s rapidly approaching pickup truck.  First, the subject officer’s cartridge casings were found outside his vehicle.  Second, an independent civilian witness with an excellent opportunity to observe these events saw the subject officer standing outside his cruiser.” 

Director Scott added, “I am of the view that this shooting was justified because the subject officer could have had a reasonable apprehension of imminent death or bodily harm as the complainant’s vehicle drove rapidly at him.  The fact that the two discharges took place in the side of the pickup truck at a point when the vehicle presumably was not an imminent threat to the subject officer does not change the analysis – these events happened very quickly, and the subject officer’s delayed reaction time may explain the reason for the side entry of these two discharges. Accordingly, even though the subject officer did not provide an interview with the SIU, the forensic evidence and a civilian witness statement lead me to the conclusion that this was a justified shooting.”

The SIU is an arm’s length agency that investigates reports involving police where there has been death, serious injury or allegations of sexual assault. Under the Police Services Act, the Director of the SIU must

  • consider whether an officer has committed a criminal offence  in connection with the incident under investigation
  • depending on the evidence, lay a criminal charge against the officer if appropriate or close the file without any charges being laid
  • report the results of any investigations to the Attorney General. 

Monica Hudon
SIU Communications/Service des communications, UES
Telephone/No de téléphone: 416-622-2342 or/ou 1-800-787-8529 extension 2342