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News Release

SIU Concludes Thunder Bay Shooting Injury Investigation

Case Number: 12-PCI-022

Mississauga (20 March, 2012) --- The Director of the Special Investigations Unit (SIU), Ian Scott, has concluded that there are no reasonable grounds to charge an Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) officer with the North West detachment with any criminal offence in relation to the injuries sustained by a 48-year-old man in January of 2012.

The SIU assigned three investigators and two forensic investigators to probe the circumstances of this incident.  The subject officer provided an interview to the SIU, as did two witness officers.  Statements of two civilian witnesses were reviewed.

The SIU investigation found that the following events took place on Tuesday, January 17:
• On this date, OPP officers received information that an individual was traveling in a vehicle, was armed with firearms, and was threatening suicide. 
• The subject officer, who was the incident commander, had a command post set up at Highway 527 and Dorion Road.  In addition, OPP dispatched their aircraft to help locate the man.
• Some time later, spotters on the aircraft observed a blue pick-up truck moving off a side road towards Dorion Road.  When the truck reached Dorion Road, it turned left towards the advancing Emergency Response Team (ERT) members.  A roadblock was set up. 
• The man’s vehicle went off the road and became stuck in a ditch.  Officers attempted to communicate with the man, but he did not respond.  After some time, he exited his vehicle with a .22-calibre rifle and walked out to the middle of the roadway.  Members of the OPP ERT ordered him to drop his weapon.  The man dropped to his knees, placed the barrel of the rifle in his mouth and pulled the trigger.
• The man suffered a gunshot wound to the head.  He was transported to hospital for treatment.

Director Scott said, “All aspects of this investigation point to the same conclusion; that the man was intent on committing suicide.  On the basis of this investigation, the subject officer committed no wrongful act; he was simply the incident commander attempting to contain a person who was armed and threatening suicide.  Regrettably, the individual in question chose to attempt to take his own life.  Accordingly, I have no grounds to believe that the officer committed any criminal offence in relation 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, 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