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News Release

SIU Concludes Pickering Firearm Injuries Investigation

Case Number: 12-OFI-204

Mississauga (26 November, 2012) --- The Director of the Special Investigations Unit (SIU), Ian Scott, has concluded that there are no reasonable grounds to charge a Durham Regional Police Service officer with a criminal offence in relation to the shooting injuries sustained by a 17-year-old male in July of 2012.

The SIU assigned five investigators and two forensic investigators to probe the circumstances of this incident. As part of the investigation, four witness officers and 13 civilian witnesses were interviewed. The subject officer consented to an interview with the SIU, but did not provide a copy of his duty notes as is his legal right. 

The SIU investigation found that the following events took place on Monday, July 16:
• At approximately 7:30 a.m., the subject officer responded to an armed robbery call at Sheridan Veterinary Services Clinic at 1398 Kingston Road in Pickering. He was given the suspect’s description, including the fact that the suspect was wearing a disguise, which was later found to be a balaclava. The officer was also informed that the male was armed with a handgun. 
• The officer saw a male fitting that description leaving the clinic and walking quickly in a south easterly direction toward Kingston Road. The officer stopped his cruiser on Kingston Road in front of the clinic, exited, and drew his firearm. The officer pointed his firearm at the male, who was approximately fifteen metres away, and shouted ‘police, don’t move” a number of times. The male looked in the officer’s direction and pulled out of his pocket what appeared to be a gun. The officer yelled at him to drop the weapon. The male began raising the gun and pointing it at the subject officer.  The subject officer discharged his firearm a total of eight times, with two of the projectiles striking the male.  One projectile entered his left chest area and exited out his back and another struck him in the right rear shoulder blade, exiting out the right side of his lower body. He fell to the ground and received first aid from a witness officer until the paramedics arrived. 
• He was transported to Rouge Valley Health Centre where he received emergency treatment, and then to Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre for further care. 

Under closer scrutiny, the weapon in question turned out to be an imitation firearm. The end of the barrel, which by law is supposed to be plugged with a fluorescent tip for safety reasons, had been removed. 

Director Scott said, “In my view, the subject officer was justified in discharging his firearm at the male – he reasonably believed that he was in imminent danger of death or grievous bodily harm when the suspected robber began raising what appeared to be a handgun in his direction. The fact that the firearm turned out to be an imitation does not affect the analysis. The officer had an honest and reasonably held belief that he was being threatened by a real firearm at the material time. Accordingly, I have no grounds to believe the subject officer committed a criminal offence.”     

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