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News Release

SIU Concludes Mississauga Firearm Injury Investigation

Case Number: 12-OFI-255

Mississauga (12 October, 2012) --- The Director of the Special Investigations Unit (SIU), Ian Scott, has concluded that there are no reasonable grounds to charge a Peel Regional Police officer with a criminal offence in relation to the shooting injury sustained by a 50-year-old man in September of 2012.

The SIU assigned five investigators and three forensic investigators to probe the circumstances of this incident.  As part of the investigation, five witness officers and seven civilian witnesses were interviewed.  The subject officer declined to be interviewed or provide the SIU with a copy of his notes, as is his legal right.

The SIU investigation found that the following events took place on Tuesday, September 4:
• In the early afternoon hours, the subject officer and witness officer were dispatched to a Lakeshore Road East building regarding a disturbance call. 
• While speaking with a tenant, officers heard glass being smashed.  They approached the ajar door of one of the apartment units, pushed it open and saw that the apartment had been trashed.  The officers called out, entered the apartment and heard someone crying in the bedroom.  They approached the bedroom and saw the complainant seated on the floor in the far left corner of the room holding a knife under his chin.  The witness officer walked toward the man with his firearm drawn and positioned himself such that a dresser separated the two of them.  The subject officer climbed on top of the bed and drew his firearm.  The man refused to comply when implored to drop the knife.  Instead, he pushed the dresser from the wall in an attempt to block the witness officer’s path.  The witness officer holstered his firearm and pushed the dresser out of the way.  The man pushed himself off the floor with his feet while still holding the knife under his chin.  The witness officer continued to yell at him to drop the knife, but the man swore at him, saying “I’m dying.”  He turned with the knife still under his chin and stepped toward the witness officer who was at this point approximately two and a half feet away. The witness officer unholstered his firearm and was bringing it up when the subject officer discharged his firearm causing a gunshot wound to the complainant’s right upper arm. 
• The man was disarmed and transported to the Mississauga Trillium Health Centre where he received surgery. 

Director Scott said, “In my view, the officers had the lawful authority to enter the residence under ss. 529.3 of the Criminal Code - they were called to a disturbance, the apartment’s door was left ajar, the interior of the apartment was in disarray and they had also previously heard glass being smashed.  The officers could reasonably conclude that it was necessary to enter to prevent imminent bodily harm to one of its occupants. 

“Further, I am of the view that the subject officer was justified in discharging his firearm under s. 27 of the Code to prevent immediate and serious injury to his partner.  The complainant, who was within very close proximity to the witness officer and in a distressed state, stepped toward the officer after refusing to drop his knife.  The subject officer could reasonably conclude that his partner’s personal safety was in imminent danger and accordingly in my view was justified in discharging his firearm.” 

Director Scott added, “There were three people present in the room at the time of the incident:  the subject officer, the witness officer and the complainant. The subject officer declined to provide his notes or an interview to the SIU, as is his right. The complainant was going through an episode of extreme distress and is not an accurate historian of these events.  Accordingly, in order to understand the material events, I relied largely upon the notes and statement of the witness officer.  I examined the witness officer’s notes and observe that they were completed before the end of his shift.  Further, in his interview with the SIU, he said that no one was present during their writing, that they have not been altered and that he did not speak to anyone before writing them.  In his interview, he answered all questions in a complete and responsive fashion.  Accordingly, I largely relied on the truth of the contents of these notes and his interview to arrive at an understanding of the material events.”

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