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News Release

SIU Concludes Oshawa Firearm Injury Investigation

Case Number: 12-OFI-377

Mississauga (28 March, 2013) --- The Director of the Special Investigations Unit (SIU), Ian Scott, has concluded that there are no reasonable grounds to charge any Durham Regional Police Service (DRPS) officer with a criminal offence in relation to the shooting injury sustained by 25-year-old Shawn Alves in December of 2012.

The SIU assigned six investigators and five forensic investigators to probe the circumstances of this incident. As part of the investigation, 13 witness officers and four civilian witnesses were interviewed.  All four subject officers declined the SIU invitation to provide a statement or a copy of their duty notes, as was their legal right.

The SIU investigation found that the following events took place on Wednesday, December 26:
• Shortly after 1 a.m., DRPS officers received information that a man identified as Mr. Alves had twice fired a shotgun at a vehicle. Further reports were received that Mr. Alves had broken into the McIntosh-Anderson Funeral Home in the area of King and Division Streets and was seen with a sawed-off shotgun in his hands. 
• Eleven officers went to the funeral home, and set up a containment area in the proximity of the funeral home’s four-car garage at the back of the building. They could see Mr. Alves moving around inside the funeral home.
• At one point, Mr. Alves, from the second-storey roof, exchanged words with officers on the ground. He told them that police had shot his friend in 2003, that they were going to have to shoot him as well and that he was prepared to take them down. He then returned to the interior of the funeral home.
• Officers received information that Mr. Alves was texting an acquaintance that he was going to go “out in a blaze of glory”.
• After approximately forty-five minutes, Mr. Alves was observed trying to access vehicles located in the garage. A short time later, he drove a hearse through one of the funeral home’s closed garage doors and quickly accelerated through the parking lot in the direction of a number of cruisers and officers located at the north edge of the parking lot. The hearse veered around some of the cruisers in very close proximity to some of the officers in the parking lot. Seven officers discharged their firearms at the driver. 
• The hearse crossed Bond Street, struck a cement barrier, and came to rest near a cement bench on the north sidewalk. Members of the DRPS Tactical Support Unit extricated Mr. Alves, who appeared to be injured, through the driver’s door window of the hearse. They removed a shotgun that was harnessed to his body. 
• He was transported to Lakeridge Health Corporation where he was diagnosed as having sustained an ankle injury and a gunshot wound to his right forearm.
 
In total, forty-eight spent cartridges were found at the scene. Upon examination of the hearse, it had thirty-four projectile impacts on all sides of the vehicle.  The front passenger side window was shattered, and there was collision damage to the right front bumper. Through forensic analysis of the projectile removed from Mr. Alves’ forearm, four of the seven officers who discharged their firearms were designated as subject officers. 

Director Scott said, “I am of the view that all of the subject officers were justified in law in discharging their firearms and causing injury to Mr. Alves. While none of them provided a statement to the SIU, there were witness officers who were in close proximity to the subject officers at the material time. Based upon their statements and the forensic evidence, there can be no doubt that all involved officers had reasonable beliefs that they or those officers in their immediate vicinity were in imminent danger of death or serious bodily harm at the time they discharged their firearms. Mr. Alves was known to have discharged a sawed-off shotgun that evening before he broke into the funeral home, and he remained in possession of that shotgun. Further, he indicated both before he entered the funeral home and while he was inside that he was prepared to die. Finally, he broke out of the funeral home – while armed with the same shotgun – by driving the hearse in a reckless manner endangering the lives of some of the involved officers. In sum, all officers who discharged their firearms at the hearse were in my view justified in so doing.” 

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