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News Release

SIU Concludes Bancroft Firearm Injuries Investigation

Case Number: 13-PFI-059

Mississauga (5 April, 2013) --- The Director of the Special Investigations Unit (SIU), Ian Scott, has concluded that there are no reasonable grounds to charge an Ontario Provincial Police officer with any criminal offence in regards to the shooting injuries sustained by two men - 25 and 49 years of age - last month.

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

The SIU investigation found that the following events took place on Saturday, March 2:
• Shortly after midnight, the subject officer and another officer attended a residence in Bancroft regarding a potential mental health issue involving a 25-year-old man. The man’s parents were concerned because he was exhibiting paranoia and had been acting in a threatening manner towards his mother. The man refused to go to the hospital.
• The two officers were escorted into the house and taken to the basement where they spoke to the man. The witness officer took the lead because he had prior experience and training dealing with emotionally disturbed persons. He initially was successful in developing a rapport with the man, and they went to his bedroom, also in the basement, to look at hockey memorabilia. After approximately an hour of speaking, the officers were unsuccessful in convincing him to accompany them to the hospital. The witness officer told him that he had to go to the hospital, and approached the man as he was lying on his bed. He jumped up, flipped over the top mattress on his bed and grabbed a hatchet that he had previously hidden between the mattress and bed springs. He swung the hatchet at the witness officer, striking him once on the top left side of the head and again on the lower left side of his head. The subject officer witnessed this attack and drew her firearm. At the same time, the man was grabbed by a 49-year-old man present in the home. The subject officer discharged her firearm three times: 
o one projectile entered the 25-year-old’s right forearm and exited, striking the 49-year-old man in the left elbow;
o the second entered the 25-year-old’s right shoulder;
o  the third entered his left lower back. 
• All three injured parties were transported first to Bancroft Hospital and then to Kingston General Hospital where they underwent surgery. 

Director Scott said, “The involved officers had the lawful authority to take the man into custody to be examined by a doctor under the Mental Health Act because they had grounds to believe he was acting in a disorderly manner from an apparent mental disorder that would likely cause serious bodily harm to himself or others. Further, the subject officer was justified in using lethal force when she witnessed the man engaging in a potentially lethal assault on her partner. While the subject officer did not provide the SIU with a statement, I am prepared to conclude that she also had a reasonable apprehension that she too could be the victim of an imminent assault. Accordingly, I am of the view that she was justified in responding with lethal force to this immediate and potentially fatal attack by a man armed with a hatchet. Fortunately, no one died in this tragic occurrence.”

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