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News Release

SIU Concludes Toronto Firearm Injury Investigation

Case Number: 12-TFI-006

Mississauga (20 March, 2012) --- The Director of the Special Investigations Unit (SIU), Ian Scott, has concluded that there are no reasonable grounds to charge a Toronto Police Service (TPS) officer with a criminal offence in regards to the shooting injuries sustained by 38-year-old John Doe  in January of 2012.

The SIU assigned seven investigators and three forensic investigators to probe the circumstances of this incident.  The subject officer consented to an interview with the SIU, and provided a copy of his duty notes.  In addition, eight witness officers and eighteen civilian witnesses were interviewed.  The incident area was forensically examined, video recorded and photographed.  A police uniform was obtained and a firearm was examined.  A large butcher’s knife was recovered from the scene.

The SIU investigation found that the following events took place on Friday, January 6:
• At approximately 12:30 p.m., Mr. Doe was seen by two officers to be rummaging through dumpsters at the rear of a plaza at 2625 Weston Rd. 
• The officers drove up to Mr. Doe as they sat in their cruiser, but he did not respond to their questions.  As the officers exited the cruiser, Mr. Doe produced a large knife from his clothing and pointed it towards them.  The officers backed away and called for assistance.
• As additional officers began to arrive, Mr. Doe walked west toward Weston Road with the knife in his right hand, partially covered with a sock.  Some of the officers followed him, yelling commands for him to drop his knife.
• Mr. Doe continued to walk west up an incline toward Weston Road.  Several officers, including the subject officer, parked their marked cruisers on Weston Road at the top of the incline.  All of the officers pointed their handguns at Mr. Doe and yelled for him to drop his weapon.  Mr. Doe advanced toward the subject officer, causing the officer to repeatedly shout at him to drop the knife and lie on the ground.  Mr. Doe said nothing and continued to walk toward the subject officer.  When Mr. Doe came within approximately two metres of the officer, he began to shift the knife to his left hand. The subject officer discharged his firearm four times causing Mr. Doe to fall to the ground. 
• Mr. Doe sustained gunshot wounds to his hand, thigh, chest and abdomen.  None of the bullets struck a vital organ. 

Director Scott said, “In my view, the subject officer was justified in the use of potentially lethal force against Mr. Doe; he represented an imminent threat to the subject officer because he was armed with a large-edged weapon, was not complying with police commands and was continuing to advance toward the subject officer.  Further, the subject officer was in a very difficult position to retreat due to his proximity to the roadway. Accordingly, I do not have the grounds to cause a charge to be laid with respect to this incident.”

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