SIU Concludes Kawartha Lakes Firearm Death Investigation
Case Number: 13-PFD-038
Other News Releases Related to Case 13-PFD-038
Mississauga (29 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 death of 41-year-old Anthony Parro in February of 2013.
The SIU assigned six investigators and three forensic investigators to probe the circumstances of this incident. As part of the investigation, eight witness officers and 14 civilian witnesses were interviewed. The subject officer provided the SIU with a copy of his duty notes but declined to be interviewed, as is his legal right.
The SIU investigation found that the following events took place on Thursday, February 7:
• In the afternoon hours, a number of drivers contacted the police with their observations of a pickup truck driving erratically in the Kawartha Lakes area.
• The subject officer, who was driving a marked police cruiser alone in the vicinity, caught up to the 2003 GMC Sierra pickup truck which was traveling northbound on Kirkfield Road. The driver, Mr. Parro, continued to drive in a dangerous and erratic manner.
• Mr. Parro eventually stopped his truck in the southbound lane of Kirkfield Road, and the subject officer stopped his cruiser behind the truck. Mr. Parro then began backing up directly at the subject officer’s cruiser. The officer responded by also backing up in an attempt to avoid a collision with the truck. Mr. Parro then stopped his vehicle, reversed direction, and began to drive forward. The subject officer also stopped his vehicle and attempted to drive forward. However, his cruiser stalled. He managed to restart his vehicle, and was planning to drive forward when he saw that the pickup had again come to a stop and was reversing. The truck gained speed and was heading directly at the subject officer’s cruiser. The officer exited his cruiser and moved to the front driver’s side area, unholstering his police-issued handgun in the process. The truck struck the front of the cruiser, causing extensive damage to its front end and pushing the cruiser some distance backward. At this point, the subject officer was slightly ahead and on the driver’s side of the pickup truck. Mr. Parro placed his truck in forward drive and began to accelerate. The subject officer discharged his firearm seven times at Mr. Parro, the first two shots being discharged before the truck passed him and the rest as the truck was either parallel to him or just passed him. Four bullets struck Mr. Parro, two in the right arm, one in the lower left side and one in the left side of the neck.
• The pickup truck veered to the right and went into a field on the east side of the roadway, accelerating along the way. It came to a halt in the field as a result of extensive damage to it.
• Mr. Parro was pronounced deceased at the scene.
Director Scott said, “In my view, the subject officer was justified in his use of lethal force in these circumstances. Mr. Parro had already made two concerted attempts to strike the officer’s vehicle with the back of his truck. Immediately after the second attempt, the subject officer was standing outside of his cruiser slightly ahead of the truck, on the driver’s side. In this position, the subject officer could have reasonably concluded Mr. Parro was trying to run him over when he accelerated forward. The fact that some of the firearm discharges took place after the front of the pickup truck had already passed the subject officer does not in my view detract from the officer’s subjective view of imminent danger; other bullet trajectories and locations of the bullet casings strongly suggest that the subject officer’s first two discharges took place at a moment when Mr. Parro could have steered his pickup truck directly at the subject officer. Given the two previous attempts to ram the police cruiser, I am of the view that the officer had a reasonable apprehension of imminent death or serious bodily harm at the critical moment when Mr. Parro accelerated. Accordingly, he had the lawful authority to use lethal force in these circumstances.”
Director Scott added, “The subject officer provided his notes to the SIU but declined to attend an interview, as is his legal right. Because he did not provide an oral statement and the investigators did not have an opportunity to ask any questions about the preparation of the notes, I am not inclined to place much weight on them. However, with respect to this incident, there is enough information in the form of civilian witnesses, contemporaneous radio communications captured on tape from the subject officer, and forensic reports to reconstruct the material events.”
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, firstname.lastname@example.org
SIU Communications/Service des communications, UES
Telephone/No de téléphone: 416-622-2342 or/ou 1-800-787-8529 extension 2342