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News Release

SIU Concludes Custody Death in Red Lake

Case Number: 12-PCD-328

Mississauga (18 December, 2012) --- The Director of the Special Investigations Unit (SIU), Ian Scott, has concluded that there are no reasonable grounds to charge an officer with the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) Red Lake Detachment with any criminal offence in relation to the death of a 35-year-old male in November of 2012.

The SIU assigned two investigators and two forensic investigators to probe the circumstances of this incident.  As part of the investigation, five witness officers and one civilian witness were interviewed.  The subject officer did not provide his duty notes or a statement to the SIU, as is his legal right.

The SIU investigation found that the following events took place on Sunday, November 4:
• At 8:00 a.m., the OPP were notified of a suicidal male, at a residence on Dickenson Road in Red Lake. 
• After a failed attempt to hang himself, the male told his mother that he was going to shoot himself. 
• Officers from the Red Lake Detachment arrived at the scene eight minutes after receiving the call.  They were apprised that the male had access to firearms within the residence. 
• OPP Emergency Response Team responded, secured the area and attempted to make contact with the male by telephone and loud hailer.  Their efforts were unsuccessful. 
• The OPP Western Region Tactical Response Unit (TRU) was subsequently dispatched from London, Ontario and arrived on scene on Monday, November 5, at 4:15 a.m. 
• The subject officer led the TRU team as they entered the residence and located the male in a bedroom, in the basement of the residence. 
• The male had sustained a gunshot wound to the head and was deceased. 
• At no time did any officer have contact or communication with the deceased.

Director Scott said, “In my view, there are no reasonable grounds to believe that the subject officer committed a criminal offence in relation to the death of the complainant.  The SIU’s investigation leads to only one reasonable conclusion:  the decedent took his own life by means of a single bullet discharged from a rifle at close range. There was no police involvement in his unfortunate death.”

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. 

Jasbir Dhillon, jasbir.dhillon@ontario.ca
SIU Communications/Service des communications, UES
Telephone/No de téléphone: 416-622-2342 or/ou 1-800-787-8529 extension 2342