SIU Director’s Report - Case # 21-OFP-120
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Mandate of the SIU
Under the SIU Act, the Director of the SIU must determine based on the evidence gathered in an investigation whether there are reasonable grounds to believe that a criminal offence was committed. If such grounds exist, the Director has the authority to lay a criminal charge against the official. Alternatively, in cases where no reasonable grounds exist, the Director cannot lay charges. Where no charges are laid, a report of the investigation is prepared and released publicly, except in the case of reports dealing with allegations of sexual assault, in which case the SIU Director may consult with the affected person and exercise a discretion to not publicly release the report having regard to the affected person’s privacy interests.
Special Investigations Unit Act, 2019Pursuant to section 34, certain information may not be included in this report. This information may include, but is not limited to, the following:
- The name of, and any information identifying, a subject official, witness official, civilian witness or affected person.
- Information that may result in the identity of a person who reported that they were sexually assaulted being revealed in connection with the sexual assault.
- Information that, in the opinion of the SIU Director, could lead to a risk of serious harm to a person.
- Information that discloses investigative techniques or procedures.
- Information, the release of which is prohibited or restricted by law.
- Information in which a person’s privacy interest in not having the information published clearly outweighs the public interest in having the information published.
Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy ActPursuant to section14 (i.e., law enforcement), certain information may not be included in this report. This information may include, but is not limited to, the following:
- Confidential investigative techniques and procedures used by law enforcement agencies; and
- Information that could reasonably be expected to interfere with a law enforcement matter or an investigation undertaken with a view to a law enforcement proceeding.
- The names of persons, including civilian witnesses, and subject and witness officials;
- Location information;
- Witness statements and evidence gathered in the course of the investigation provided to the SIU in confidence; and
- Other identifiers which are likely to reveal personal information about individuals involved in the investigation.
Personal Health Information Protection Act, 2004Pursuant to this legislation, any information related to the personal health of identifiable individuals is not included.
Other proceedings, processes, and investigationsInformation may also have been excluded from this report because its release could undermine the integrity of other proceedings involving the same incident, such as criminal proceedings, coroner’s inquests, other public proceedings and/or other law enforcement investigations.
A person sustains a “serious injury” for purposes of the SIU’s jurisdiction if they: sustain an injury as a result of which they are admitted to hospital; suffer a fracture to the skull, or to a limb, rib or vertebra; suffer burns to a significant proportion of their body; lose any portion of their body; or, as a result of an injury, experience a loss of vision or hearing.
In addition, a “serious injury” means any other injury sustained by a person that is likely to interfere with the person’s health or comfort and is not transient or trifling in nature.
This report relates to the SIU’s investigation into the discharge of a firearm at a 25-year-old man (the “Complainant”).
Notification of the SIUOn April 15, 2021, at 6:01 a.m., the Peel Regional Police (PRP) notified the SIU of an Anti-Riot Weapon Enfield (ARWEN) discharge at the Complainant.
Earlier that morning, at 5:20 a.m., members of the PRP received a 911 call from the Complainant threatening to shoot people with a Glock 19 if he did not obtain cigarettes. Officers were dispatched to the area of Morning Star and Goreway Drives, and located the Complainant near the Dollarama. The Subject Official (SO) discharged his ARWEN at the Complainant when he failed to comply with police commands to show his hands and get down on the ground.
The TeamDate and time team dispatched: 04/15/2021 at 6:32 a.m.
Date and time SIU arrived on scene: 04/15/2021 at 8:01 a.m.
Number of SIU Investigators assigned: 4
Number of SIU Forensic Investigators assigned: 1
SIU investigators interviewed civilian and police witnesses, and canvassed for and obtained closed-circuit television (CCTV) data in the area where the incident occurred.
Affected Person (aka “Complainant”):25-year-old male, declined interview
Civilian WitnessesCW #1 Interviewed
CW #2 Interviewed
The civilian witnesses were interviewed on April 20, 2021, and April 21, 2021.
Subject OfficialsSO Declined interview, as is the subject official’s legal right.
Witness OfficialsWO #1 Interviewed
WO #2 Interviewed
WO #3 Not interviewed, but notes received and reviewed
WO #4 Not interviewed, but notes received and reviewed
WO #5 Not interviewed, but notes received and reviewed
WO #6 Not interviewed, but notes received and reviewed
WO #7 Interviewed
WO #8 Not interviewed, but notes received and reviewed
WO #9 Not interviewed, but notes received and reviewed
The witness officials were interviewed on April 15, 2021.
The Scene At 8:01 a.m., the SIU arrived on scene.
The scene was at the Westwood Mall located at 7205 Goreway Drive. The incident occurred in the parking lot near the Dollarama store. The parking lot was bordered on the west by Goreway Drive and the Petro Canada gas station was to the north. The immediate area was contained with yellow police tape, and several police vehicles outside the perimeter restricted vehicular and pedestrian access. The Duty Inspector directed the involved police vehicles to be removed from the scene prior to the SIU’s attendance.
The scene was photographed, and measurements were obtained for a planned scene drawing.
Physical Evidence The scene was examined and several exhibits of importance, as marked on the scene diagram, were located. Specifically, five ARWEN projectiles and five cartridge cases were located. Three of the ARWEN projectiles were found at the south side of the parking lot near a Dodge Ram and two ARWEN projectiles were located on the north side of the parking lot.
Figure 2 - An ARWEN projectile located at the scene.
Figure 3 - The SO's ARWEN.
Taser Model X2
At 5:22:33 a.m.,1 WO #7’s CEW was armed. At 5:22:41 a.m., WO #7 deployed one cartridge for a cycle duration of five seconds. At 5:23:55 a.m., WO #7 made his CEW safe.
On April 20, 2021, the SIU received relevant communication recordings from the PRP. A summary of the material information therein follows.
911 CommunicationsAt 4:51 a.m., a male caller [now known to be the Complainant] called 911 to request police assistance at the Petro Canada gas station at Morning Star and Goreway Drives. The attendant was unable to sell cigarettes to the Complainant because he failed to provide identification and payment. The 911 call-taker deferred the Complainant to the non-emergency line.
At 4:54 a.m., the Complainant called the PRP Communications Centre. The following is a summary of the salient portions of the Complainant’s call:
Complainant:I want to buy cigarettes at Morningstar and Goreway Drive at the Petro station, but I don’t have my identification. Can you please come and show my identification to them because I lost everything.Comm: No, why would we have your identificationif you lost it?Complainant: Ma’am, really, please, I am really stressed and bored.Comm: We can’t do that.Complainant: Why?Comm: We are too busy dealing with emergencies.Complainant: I am working with you. You guys know I am working with you.Comm: Sorry.Complainant: You guys know I am working with you.Comm: What do you mean you are working with us?Complainant: My name is [the Complainant].Comm: I don’t know who you are.Complainant: You should know who I am.Comm: I don’t. We are not having police attend so you can buy cigarettes because you lost youridentification.Complainant: Okay ma’am. If it’s an emergency, then you will come?Comm: If there is an emergency but that’s not an emergency.Complainant: Okay, it will. It will. Give it five minutes and it will be an emergency.Comm: Okay then we will attend.Complainant: Okay. I am saying please come in five minutes. Then it will be an emergency and maybe a shootout at Goreway Drive and Morningstar.Comm: What did you just say?Complainant: I just said, if you don’t come in five minutes, then it will be an emergency.Comm: Why?Complainant: Maybe Morningstar and Goreway will be sealed again like last year…Comm: Will be what?Complainant: Morningstar and Goreway Drive will be sealed like last year. So you want to do that, or do you want to come in five minutes?Comm: Are you threatening to cause a problem there?Complainant: Yeah.Comm: Why? Because you can’t get cigarettes? Why don’t you go somewhere else?Complainant: Yeah, I’m not getting cigarettes, that’s why.Comm: Okay, if you cause a problem then we will go.Complainant: I have lost everything in my pocket.Comm: Police deal with life threatening emergencies.Complainant: Okay, I have Glock 17 in my pocket.Comm: Sorry?Complainant: I have Glock 17 in my pocket.Comm: So, your saying you have a gun?Complainant: Yeah.Comm: And what are you going to do with it? Is it because you can’t get cigarettes?Complainant: Yeah, so I will use it within two minutes. So, countdown will be started from 120.Comm: And where are you right now?Complainant: Morning Star and Goreway Drive at Petro Station.Comm: To clarify, you’re threatening to shoot someone in there because you can’t get cigarettes. That’s why we’re going to be coming?Complainant: Yeah, yeah, yeah. You now have 60 seconds left. 59. 58. Just one car I don’t need too much crowd.Comm: Well, that’s your decision.Complainant: Counting down. Maybe you can send [redacted name], too? Counting down to 0. Bye. Okay, have a good day. Maybe a bad day. Okay, bye.
At 5:01 a.m., the tactical unit was dispatched to Westwood Mall.
At 5:02 a.m., the Complainant called the Communications Centre to request a Punjabi interpreter. The Complainant disconnected the call when the interpreter was on the line.
At 5:24 a.m., Peel EMS was dispatched to attend Westwood Mall for a person in police custody with mental health issues.
Radio CommunicationsAt 4:59 a.m., officers were dispatched to Morning Star and Goreway Drives for reports of a male [now known to be the Complainant] threatening to shoot people because he could not buy cigarettes. The Complainant stated he had a “Glock 19” in his pocket after the call-taker advised him police were not attending.
At 5:01 a.m., the tactical unit was notified. The Complainant was cautioned suicide by police and mentally disordered on their records management system. Further information revealed the Complainant had been apprehended under the MHA [Mental Health Act] in similar fact occurrences.
At 5:11 a.m., the Complainant was described as male, Asian, with dark complexion, medium build and black wavy hair, and possibly wearing glasses. He was last seen walking toward Walmart.
At 5:17 a.m., an officer [now known to be WO #1] spoke with the Complainant on his cellphone and confirmed his location at the Tim Horton’s.
At 5:20 a.m., the Complainant was located in the parking lot near the Dollarama.
CCTV from Petro Canada, 7355 Goreway DriveThe video, 14 minutes and 27 seconds in duration, in colour and with audio, was not date or time stamped. The view was of the gas pumps and the front entrance of the property.
A male [now known to be the Complainant] approached the window near the front entrance of the gas station and appeared to be talking on his phone. He was wearing a grey hoodie, black pants, and blue toque. The Complainant paced in front of the main entrance doors, talking on his phone. He spoke to the employee through the small window.
For approximately 13 minutes, the Complainant paced in front of the main entrance as he talked on his cellphone and then left the property.
CCTV from Walmart, 7333 Goreway DriveThe video, in colour but with no audio, was date and time stamped. The following is a summary of the material information.
At 5:07:35 a.m., the Complainant walked southbound on the sidewalk in front of Walmart toward Dollarama and out of camera view. He was wearing a grey hoodie, black “Adidas” pants and a toque.
At 5:14:01 a.m., two uniformed officers walked southbound in front of Walmart, then northbound.
At 5:18:20 a.m., a police vehicle entered the parking lot from Goreway Drive and proceeded northbound in the parking lot with no emergency lights activated.
At 5:20:18 a.m., a second marked police vehicle proceeded southbound in the parking lot.
At 5:22:01 a.m., several marked police vehicles proceeded southbound on Goreway Drive with their emergency lights activated.
At 5:22:38 a.m., another police vehicle entered the parking lot from Goreway Drive and proceeded to the area of the Dollarama. The Complainant was walking northbound on the sidewalk in front of the Dollarama. The Complainant walked toward the police vehicle as it was reversing away.
At 5:23:10 a.m., the driver [now known to be WO #2] of the police vehicle exited momentarily before re-entering his police vehicle and continuing to reverse.
At 5:23:17 a.m., five marked police vehicles and two dark-coloured trucks proceeded northbound into the parking lot toward WO #2’s police vehicle.
At 5:23:51 a.m., the Complainant placed his arms out and went to his knees on the ground on the passenger side of the police vehicle. The interaction between the Complainant and members of the PRP could not be deciphered due to the headlights of the police vehicles obscuring the view of the camera.
CCTV from Westwood Mall, 7205 Goreway DriveThe surveillance video from this location consisted of three camera angles from the westside rooftop of Westwood Mall. A summary of camera #2, which captured the parking lot from the main entrance doors, contained the most relevant footage.
Between 5:16:55 a.m. to 5:18:59 a.m., three marked police vehicles with their emergency lights activated proceed southbound on Goreway Drive and entered the parking lot from the west side. The marked police vehicles proceeded toward the TD Bank and out of camera view, appearing to search south and west of the mall.
Between 5:21:14 a.m. to 5:21:23 a.m., a marked PRP vehicle [now known to be operated by WO #2] with its emergency lights activated proceeded along the eastern edge of the parking lot adjacent to the main doors of the mall entrance and briefly stopped, facing east of the entrance doors.
Between 5:21:32 a.m. to 5:21:38 a.m., WO #2 suddenly reversed in a southwesterly direction through the parking lot as the Complainant quickly advanced southbound toward the police vehicle. The Complainant’s arms were raised above his head and palms turned outwards.
Between 5:21:47 a.m. to 5:22:07 a.m., WO #2 stopped his police vehicle facing northeast. He exited his police vehicle and stood by the open driver’s door. Due to the distance of the camera, it was unclear if WO #2 had anything in his hands. The Complainant continued to walk southbound toward WO #2’s police vehicle and immediately dropped to his knees one to two car lengths away when he saw a second marked police vehicle arrive to his east. The Complainant lowered his arms to shoulder level.
Between 5:22:13 a.m. to 5:22:20 a.m., a third police vehicle arrived in the parking lot and parked west of WO #2’s police vehicle, facing northeast. The Complainant remained on his knees with both arms and hands outstretched beside his body. All three officers exited their vehicles and stood in front of WO #2’s police vehicle directly facing the Complainant.
Between 5:22:23 a.m. to 5:23:36 a.m., a dark tactical truck [now known to be operated by the SO] arrived and parked south of the second responding police vehicle. A male tactical officer [now known to be WO #7] exited the passenger side, possibly holding a long gun in his right hand with the barrel pointing to the ground, walked around the rear of the police vehicle and out of camera view. The camera angle was unable to capture if anyone exited the driver’s side of the tactical vehicle. The Complainant dropped his arms to his side, immediately stood to his feet and extended both arms and hands out from his sides. He then began to walk slowly toward the group of officers positioned near WO #2’s police vehicle. The Complainant walked about three steps when several puffs of smoke were seen coming from the group of officers. He then immediately fell on his back and eventually rolled onto his stomach. The group of officers approached the Complainant and appeared to place his hands behind his back. Two officers assisted the Complainant to his feet, and he was escorted out of camera view.
Between 5:27:39 a.m. to 5:45:38 a.m., various scene management exercises were undertaken by the officers on scene.
Materials Obtained from Police Service The SIU obtained and reviewed the following records from the PRP:
• Communications Recordings;• ARWEN Disclosure for Team;• Event Chronology;• Procedure-Crisis Negotiations;• Procedure-Mental Health Policy;• Procedure-Incident Response;• Notes of SO and WOs;• Occurrence Report;• Officer List;• Person Details Report-the Complainant;• Communications Audio Reports; and• Similar Fact Apprehensions – the Complainant.
Materials Obtained from Other SourcesThe SIU obtained and reviewed the following records from the following other sources:
• Ambulance Call Report-Peel EMS;• CCTV from Westwood Mall, 7205 Goreway Drive;• CCTV from Walmart, 7333 Goreway Drive; and• CCTV from Petro Canada, 7355 Goreway Drive.
At about 4:54 a.m. of April 15, 2021, the Complainant called police to say that he wanted to buy cigarettes at the Petro Canada at the intersection of Morning Star and Goreway Drives but was unable to because he lacked identification. The call-taker explained that the police could not assist, after which the Complainant provided his name, indicated he was in possession of a gun, and threated to start shooting people if the police did not attend. Uniform and tactical officers were dispatched to the area.
After a period searching the area, the Complainant was located by officers in the parking lot of the Westwood Mall in the area of the Dollarama store. WO #2, arriving in his marked cruiser, was the first officer at the scene to confront the Complainant. The officer exited his cruiser and yelled at the Complainant to show his hands. The Complainant advanced in WO #2’s direction and the officer returned to his vehicle and reversed a distance. WO #2 again exited his cruiser and, from a position behind the open driver’s door, ordered the Complainant to show his hands. When he did not do so, and continued to walk toward the officer, WO #2 drew his firearm and pointed it at the Complainant. At the sight of the gun, the Complainant raised his hands to chest level some two to three car lengths away from WO #2. He then went to his knees, about a car length away, and raised both hands above his head.
The SO and WO #7, both tactical officers, were arriving at the scene at about this time in a police truck. They parked their vehicle east of several cruisers, including WO #2’s cruiser, and exited with weapons at the ready. The SO had an ARWEN and WO #7, a C8 rifle. The Complainant dropped his arms to the side, stood to his feet and began to walk in the officers’ direction. As he did so, the SO fired his ARWEN five times. Two or more of the rounds struck the Complainant, who was felled by the shots onto his back. The Complainant rolled on the ground and continued to move his hands despite being directed to remain still. WO #7 discharged his CEW at the Complainant, after which the Complainant rolled over onto his stomach, was approached by officers, and handcuffed without further incident.
The Complainant was not seriously injured as a result of the ARWEN discharges and CEW deployment. He did not, in fact, have a firearm in his possession.
Section 25(1), Criminal Code -- Protection of persons acting under authority
(a) as a private person,(b) as a peace officer or public officer,(c) in aid of a peace officer or public officer, or(d) by virtue of his office,
Analysis and Director's Decision
Pursuant to section 25(1) of the Criminal Code, police officers are immune from criminal liability for force used in the course of their duties provided such force was reasonably necessary in the execution of an act that they were required or authorized to do by law. It does not appear that the Complainant was in complete control of his mental faculties at the time of this incident. That said, he had threatened to kill people with a gun in his possession – a threat that had to be taken seriously by the responding police officers. In the circumstances, I am satisfied that there were grounds to seek the Complainant’s immediate arrest.
I am further satisfied that the SO’s ARWEN discharges were legally justified in aid of the Complainant’s arrest. After initially appearing to surrender – on his knees with his hands up – the Complainant suddenly rose to his feet and resumed his approach toward the officers when he was struck by two or more ARWEN rounds fired by the SO. At the time, the SO was aware that the Complainant had reported being in possession of a gun and threatening to harm people with it. Though he had not seen a gun in the Complainant’s possession, the officer could not be sure that he did not have one concealed on his person and readily accessible. In the circumstances, I am unable to fault the SO for attempting to neutralize a potentially lethal threat with less-lethal force from a distance. It should be noted that the ARWEN discharges were effective in temporarily incapacitating the Complainant, and that no shots were fired by the SO after the Complainant was on the ground.
For the foregoing reasons, there are no reasonable grounds to believe that the SO comported himself other than within the confines of the criminal law throughout his engagement with the Complainant. Accordingly, there is no basis for proceeding with criminal charges in this case, and the file is closed.
Date: August 13, 2021
Electronically approved by
Special Investigations Unit
- 1) The times are derived from the CEW’s internal time clock, which are not necessarily synchronized with actual time. [Back to text]
- 2) The following records contain sensitive personal information and are not being released pursuant to section 34(2) of the Special Investigations Unit Act, 2019. The material portions of the records are summarized below. [Back to text]
The signed English original report is authoritative, and any discrepancy between that report and the French and English online versions should be resolved in favour of the original English report.