News Release

Understanding the Process of the SIU’s City of Kawartha Lakes Investigation

Case Number: 20-PFD-324   

Mississauga, ON (14 December, 2020) ---
On November 26, 2020, a 33-year-old man and his one-year-old son sustained gunshot wounds during an interaction between the father and Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) officers in the City of Kawartha Lakes. The baby was pronounced deceased at the scene, and the father succumbed to his injuries almost one week later. Out of respect for the family who has requested privacy, the names of the deceased have not been released.

Understandably, there is a pressing public interest in this case, including how the child died and whether it was gunfire from the father or OPP officers that caused the death. The SIU is working to make these determinations. Doing so, however, requires time as key evidence must be examined methodically in line with best practices. 

Firearms

From the scene, two police-issued rifles and one police-issued pistol were collected. The three officers who discharged these firearms multiple times were designated as subject officers. A pistol was also located in the pickup truck. The pistol from the pickup truck was sent to the Centre of Forensic Sciences (CFS) for examination. The police-issued firearms will be submitted to the CFS in line with their procedures once the SIU is granted approval to do so from the CFS.

The Post-mortem

A post-mortem of the child was conducted on November 28, 2020 and of the father on December 4, 2020. The SIU awaits the Reports of Postmortem Examinations.

The Pickup Truck

Examination of the pickup truck continues at the CFS and involves several steps that must be completed in sequential order. Following the exterior examination of the pickup truck – which was completed Thursday – blood pattern analysis by an expert was begun of the truck’s interior and is ongoing. As this is happening, SIU forensic investigators document, photograph and collect evidence such as projectiles that are retrievable without impacting other evidence. Once this step is complete, a trajectory analysis will be performed with the assistance of the CFS in order to aid in understanding the direction of travel of projectiles through the vehicle.  Following 3D imagery of the truck, the truck will be released to the SIU forensic investigators for another thorough search for evidence. Any relevant evidence obtained will be sent for testing, and in the case of projectiles, will be compared to the firearms collected. 

Interviews

To date, 14 witness officers have been interviewed, and three additional witness officers will be interviewed tomorrow. Twelve civilian witnesses have been interviewed. 

The SIU assures the public that it is working as expeditiously as possible.  To the extent information regarding the results of the aforementioned-examinations can be released, once they are completed, without undermining the integrity of the investigation, the SIU will do so.  


The SIU is an independent government agency that investigates the conduct of officials (police officers as well as special constables with the Niagara Parks Commission and peace officers with the Legislative Protective Service) that may have resulted in death, serious injury, sexual assault and/or the discharge of a firearm at a person. All investigations are conducted by SIU investigators who are civilians. Under the Special Investigations Unit Act, the Director of the SIU must

  • consider whether the official has committed a criminal offence in connection with the incident under investigation
  • depending on the evidence, cause a criminal charge to be laid against the official where grounds exist for doing so, or close the file without any charges being laid
  • publicly report the results of its investigations

Lisez ce communiqué en français.

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