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News Release

SIU Concludes Toronto Firearm Injury Investigation

Case Number: 13-TFI-041

Mississauga (28 February, 2013) --- The Director of the Special Investigations Unit (SIU), Ian Scott, has concluded that there are no reasonable grounds to charge a Toronto Police Service (TPS) officer with a criminal offence in regards to the shooting injuries sustained by a 31-year-old male on February 10, 2013.

The SIU assigned six investigators and two 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, four witness officers and seven civilian witnesses were interviewed.  The incident area was forensically examined, video recorded and photographed. 

The SIU investigation found that the following events took place on Sunday, February 10:
• The subject officer and his partner were dispatched to an apartment at 1 Lee Centre regarding a man, later identified as the complainant, threatening to commit suicide.  The officers also received information that there was a female voice in the background screaming and the male saying he had a weapon. 
• The two officers approached an apartment door on the eighth floor and knocked on it.  When there was no response, the subject officer unlocked the door with a master key obtained from the building concierge, and opened it. 
• Inside, he saw four individuals: the complainant’s common-law wife, two children and the complainant. 
• The woman was holding the right side of her face and was noticeably bleeding from that area.  The complainant had a large knife in his right hand and was pointing it toward the two officers. 
• The subject officer directed the woman and the two children out of the apartment. 
• Both officers drew their firearms and repeatedly instructed the man to drop the knife.  Both officers backed away from him, and one of them closed the door to the apartment.
• A few seconds later, the man opened the apartment door and began walking toward the officers with the knife in his hands and yelling out. The officers continued to yell at him to drop the knife. 
• The man continued to advance toward the officers in the apartment hallway. The hallway was configured in such a manner that the officers had no place to safely retreat. 
• When the distance between the officers and the complainant was approximately 1.5 metres, the subject officer discharged his firearm once at the man. He fell to the ground, and the subject officer disarmed him.  The man said that he wanted to die. 
• Paramedics attended the scene and transported the man to Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre.  He had sustained a gunshot wound to his left chest, but is expected to survive.

Director Scott said, “As a preliminary matter, I am of the view that the officers had the lawful authority to enter the apartment in question without a warrant.  They had credible information that someone in that apartment was at risk of imminent serious harm. 

With respect to the subject officer’s discharge of his firearm, in my view, it was lawfully justified.   From the perspective of the subject officer, he was confronted with an armed individual who had already assaulted his common-law spouse, refused to drop his knife, and was approaching both himself and his partner in a menacing fashion.  The subject officer attempted to contain the threat by closing the apartment door and then further retreated when the complainant approached the officers in the hallway.  However, the man continued to close the distance between himself and the two officers.  In my view, the subject officer had a reasonable belief that he or his partner would suffer death or serious bodily harm and that neither of them could reasonably escape from that threat. Accordingly, he was justified in discharging his firearm.”

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