SIU Concludes Toronto Firearm Death Investigation
Case Number: 12-TFD-104
Other News Releases Related to Case 12-TFD-104
Mississauga (24 July, 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 officer with a criminal offence in relation to the shooting death of 38-year-old Peter Lumanglas in April of 2012.
The SIU assigned eight investigators and two forensic investigators to probe the circumstances of this incident. The subject officer, Constable Jeff Blair, consented to an interview with the SIU and provided a copy of his duty notes. In addition, eleven witness officers and fourteen civilian witnesses were interviewed.
The SIU investigation found that the following events took place on Sunday, April 15:
• In the late evening hours, Cst Blair was conducting traffic enforcement using radar on Allen Road north of Lawrence Avenue. He clocked a black Caravan travelling northbound at 146 km/h in an 80 km/h zone. The officer entered his police vehicle and began to pursue the Caravan for the purpose of identifying the driver or the plate information.
• The Caravan went onto the collector lanes eastbound on Highway 401 and continued to travel at excessive speed. The subject officer ascertained the licence plate number and called it into dispatch. Shortly thereafter, the Caravan exited from Highway 401 onto the Avenue Road ramp in a dangerous manner. Cst Blair activated his emergency equipment, and a short pursuit took place leading to Bombay Avenue. He last saw the pursued vehicle as it was driving through two stop signs on that street. Cst Blair discontinued his pursuit and began to look for the van.
• Cst Blair saw a male (later identified as Mr. Lumanglas) walking quickly on nearby Northmount Avenue. He appeared to be inappropriately dressed for the weather – he was wearing shorts and a basketball jersey on a late April evening. Cst Blair stopped his cruiser and spoke to Mr. Lumanglas. After noting that Mr. Lumanglas was sweating, appeared agitated and that his answers to questions about his driving were nonresponsive, Cst Blair concluded that Mr. Lumanglas was the one who was driving the Caravan in a dangerous manner. He informed him that he was under arrest for dangerous driving and failing to stop for police.
• Cst Blair led Mr. Lumanglas to the back of his cruiser to effect the arrest. Mr. Lumanglas was compliant and placed his hands behind his back. Cst Blair patted him down, and in the right pocket of his shorts, the officer found a closed pocket knife. He placed the knife on the trunk of the cruiser. In his left pocket, the subject officer found drug paraphernalia and what he believed to be drugs. Immediately after notifying him that he was also under arrest for possession of contraband drugs, Mr. Lumanglas’ demeanour changed. He lunged forward, grabbed the pocket knife and opened the blade. He stabbed Cst Blair three times, twice in the arm and once in the neck. Cst Blair took a few steps back, drew his firearm and issued the police challenge, “police, don’t move.” Instead of complying, Mr. Lumanglas moved toward Cst Blair with the knife raised above his head in his right hand. Cst Blair s discharged his firearm at least three times aiming at Mr. Lumanglas’ torso causing him to fall down. Cst Blair was bleeding profusely. Mr. Lumanglas tried to get up again. The subject officer could not see the whereabouts of the knife and was feeling weaker. He then discharged his firearm two more times. Mr. Lumanglas fell back to the ground.
• Paramedics arrived and both the subject officer and Mr. Lumanglas were transported to Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre. Mr. Lumanglas died five days later on April 20, 2012 as a result of the multiple gunshot wounds. The subject officer survived the knife wounds to his arm and neck.
Director Scott said, “Cst Blair had reasonable grounds to arrest Mr. Lumanglas based upon his observations of his dangerous driving and failing to stop for the police. While he did not see Mr. Lumanglas exit the Caravan, he saw him in close proximity both in time and location to his last sighting of the pursued vehicle. When one adds Mr. Lumanglas’ demeanour and lack of responsive answers, I am of the view that the subject officer had articulable grounds to believe that Mr. Lumanglas was the individual recently driving in a dangerous manner. Once the subject officer had the grounds to arrest, he also had the authority to conduct a pat-down search for weapons and the further arrest for contraband drugs.
“For reasons that will never be answered, Mr. Lumanglas took great exception to the arrest for drugs, broke away from the subject officer, grabbed the pocket knife from the trunk of the police cruiser, opened the blade and made a concerted effort to kill the officer. Under s. 34 of the Criminal Code the subject officer had the authority to use lethal force to repel Mr. Lumanglas because he had a reasonable belief that he was in imminent danger of dying; he had already been stabbed in the neck area, and Mr. Lumanglas was coming toward him after ignoring the police challenge. With respect to the latter two discharges, I am of the view that those too were justified; Mr. Lumanglas was attempting to get off the ground at a time when the subject officer had lost a significant amount of blood, could assume the assailant was still armed with the knife, and was in no condition to retreat.”
The SIU is an independent civilian 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, email@example.com
SIU Communications/Service des communications, UES
Telephone/No de téléphone: 416-622-2342 or/ou 1-800-787-8529 extension 2342