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News Release

SIU Concludes Grey County Firearm Death Investigation

Case Number: 12-PFD-116

Mississauga (29 June, 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 a criminal offence in relation to the shooting death of a 52-year-old man in April of 2012.

The SIU assigned five investigators and four 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 ten civilian witnesses were interviewed. 

The SIU investigation found that the following events took place on Thursday, April 26 and Friday, April 27:
• Thursday morning, an individual notified police that the 52-year-old man had threatened her.  Officers attended the man’s home on Concession 8 in Chatsworth Township, where he was seen walking around with a handgun.  Officers contained the property.
• At approximately 3:45 p.m., the man fled into the woods on a bicycle.  He was tracked to a Side Road 9A residence a few kilometres away that was owned by his landlord.  The man barricaded himself in the garage.
• The subject officer was a member of the Tactics and Rescue Unit and was dispatched to the residence.  He was briefed that the man was wanted on a warrant for uttering death threats, weapons dangerous and breach of his bail conditions.  He was further informed that the man had access to a shotgun with many rounds of ammunition and a small calibre rifle, both weapons which had been stored in the garage by its owner. The officer was also informed that the man was seen to be carrying a handgun before he entered the garage.  He took up his position armed with a C8 rifle.  His partner was armed with a shotgun designed to shoot beanbag rounds.
• At approximately 7:00 p.m., the man emerged from the garage man door and fired a shotgun round into the air.  An hour later, he emerged again and fired a shotgun round and a handgun round at the OPP Armoured Rescue Vehicle (ARV) which was positioned in the driveway outside of the garage.  He then fired five or six more shotgun rounds at the ARV. 
• During the standoff, officers deployed several cameras into the home, to get a better understanding of what was happening inside. 
• At 10:30 p.m., the man started one of the motorized vehicles in the garage and opened the garage door.  The ARV moved close to the garage door to block his exit from the building.  The man fired numerous rounds at the ARV and closed the door. 
• At approximately 1:45 a.m. Friday morning, the man threw out a portable telephone that the OPP had attempted to utilize to make contact with him.
• For a few hours there was relative calm.  However, shortly before 6:00 a.m., the man left the garage armed with a shotgun.  He began moving towards the stone steps beside the garage in the direction of the subject officer and his partner. The two officers moved forward and took cover behind a tree as the man ascended the stone steps.  The subject officer and his partner trained their weapons on the man, while ordering him to drop his weapon.  Instead of complying, the man raised his shotgun in the direction of the two officers.  A beanbag round was discharged, but it did not seem to have any effect.  The man began advancing toward the officers with the barrel of his shotgun held in a shooting position.   The subject officer discharged two rounds from his C8 rifle while his partner discharged more beanbag rounds.  At this point, the man was approximately 10 metres from the officers.  He turned around, ran down the stone steps and back into the garage through the man door.  He collapsed still in possession of the shotgun and died at that location. 
• A post-mortem examination determined the cause of death to be a single gunshot wound to the chest.

Director Scott said, “The man had proved himself to be a lethal threat to many officers at the incident scene when he discharged multiple rounds from the shotgun over a prolonged period of time and refused to surrender.  The SIU forensic investigation later concluded he discharged up to 80 shotgun rounds. When he left the garage armed with the shotgun, the subject officer could reasonably conclude that he represented an imminent threat to himself and his partner if he threatened either of them with his weapon.  The two officers gave him an opportunity to drop his weapon.  Instead of doing so, he raised his shotgun in an aggressive manner towards the two officers.  Given the man’s prior conduct, in my view, the subject officer had a reasonable belief that this action represented an imminent and lethal threat to both himself and his partner.  Accordingly, the subject officer’s use of lethal force leading to the man’s death was justified in these circumstances.”  

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