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News Release

SIU Concludes Toronto Firearm Injury Investigation

Case Number: 13-TFI-040

Mississauga (22 March, 2013) --- The Director of the Special Investigations Unit (SIU), Ian Scott, has concluded that there are no reasonable grounds to charge any officers with the Toronto Police Service (TPS) with a criminal offence in regards to the shooting injuries sustained by 18-year-old Tony Dinh and 19-year-old Jonathan Lau on February 10, 2013.

The SIU assigned eight investigators, three forensic investigators and one collision reconstruction investigator to probe the circumstances of this incident.  Two subject officers were designated, one of whom consented to an interview with the SIU and provided a copy of his duty notes.  The other officer declined to be interviewed or provide his duty notes, as is his right.  In addition, 12 witness officers and 35 civilian witnesses were interviewed.  The incident area was forensically examined, video recorded and photographed. 

The SIU investigation found that the following events took place:
• In the evening of February 9th and into the morning of February 10th, the two subject officers and three witness officers were performing a paid duty in uniform at the Muzik Nightclub on the Canadian National Exhibition grounds. 
• As the club was emptying, the officers were at the club’s front door.  At approximately 3:00 a.m., a man ran up to one of the subject officers and informed him that someone had been shot. 
• The two subject officers went to the parking lot where they saw a group gathering around a man, now known to be Mr. Naweed Shahnawaz.
• Mr. Shahnawaz had been shot and later died of his gunshot wounds.
• The subject officers were informed by a civilian that a car involved in the shooting was still in the parking lot and the officers were led to another area of the parking lot near a kiosk. 
• Shortly thereafter, the officers stopped a Dodge Charger near the kiosk.  A  Honda then stopped behind the Charger, and the civilian identified two occupants in that second vehicle as involved in the shooting. 
• Mr. Dinh was the driver of the Honda and Mr. Lau was a passenger.
• The officers had their handguns unholstered, and one of the officers commanded the occupants to leave their vehicle. 
• The driver did not comply; instead, he caused his vehicle to move abruptly to the right and accelerate. 
• One of the subject officers, now in the driver’s path, fell to his right and discharged his firearm seven times at the driver’s side of the Honda as it accelerated by him. 
• The other subject officer believed his partner and others were in imminent danger, and discharged his firearm twice at the back of the vehicle. 
• The Honda continued to accelerate and left the area. Messrs. Dinh and Lau were arrested on Dufferin Street after Mr. Dinh drove the Honda into a snow bank. 
• Mr. Lau, the passenger, received a gunshot wound to his right arm that fractured a bone.  A second projectile entered his left chest and lodged in his left lung. Mr. Dinh sustained wounds from a single projectile in his left arm that lodged in his right arm.  

Director Scott said, “I am of the view that the discharges of both subject officers were justified in these circumstances.  Both officers received information that a shooting had taken place, information that was corroborated by witnessing the victim of a shooting.  The officers also had information provided by a civilian that the occupants of the Honda were involved in the shooting.  They were justified, therefore, in confronting the Honda and ordering its occupants out of the vehicle.”   

“The Honda was examined for projectile trajectories.  Nine impact sites were identified.  Two of those sites were located in the front windshield, two in the driver’s side window and three in the driver’s side rear window or door frame. Two other sites were located in the rear of the vehicle.  Focusing on the discharges from the subject officer who was in the vehicle`s path, it is reasonable to infer based upon the observations of others and the location of the projectile trajectories that this officer was placed in imminent danger by Mr. Dinh’s driving.  Accordingly, in my view, he had the lawful authority to defend himself from death or serious bodily harm by the use of lethal force.  Similarly, the discharges by the second officer are justified in law because of his reasonable assessment of imminent risk of death or serious harm to his partner. In my view, therefore, there are no reasonable grounds to believe that either subject officer committed a criminal offence in relation to the firearm injuries sustained by the complainants, Messrs. Dinh and Lau, on February 10th, 2013”

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