SIU Concludes Death Investigation in Timmins
Case Number: 13-OCD-072
Other News Releases Related to Case 13-OCD-072
Mississauga (1 May, 2013) --- The Director of the Special Investigations Unit (SIU), Ian Scott, has concluded that there are no reasonable grounds to charge two Timmins Police Service officers with any criminal offence in relation to the death of a 66-year-old man in March of 2013.
The SIU assigned two investigators and two forensic investigators to probe the circumstances of this incident. As part of the investigation, two witness officers and one civilian witness were interviewed. Both subject officers participated in interviews with the SIU and provided copies of their duty notes.
The SIU investigation found that the following events took place on Wednesday, March 20, 2013:
• On the morning of this date, the subject officers received information that caused them to attend a third floor apartment unit located at 860 Suzanne Street. The information they received gave them concern about an individual’s mental health.
• Upon arriving at the address, the officers knocked on the door. When there was no answer, they attempted to contact the man by telephone. Again, there was no response.
• The building superintendent was then located. He was trying various keys to the door when a single gunshot was heard from within the apartment. The officers entered the apartment and found the man partially sitting on a couch and slumped over with a rifle. They also found a note near him that could be construed a suicide note. The officers commenced CPR. Soon after, ambulance attendants arrived and transported the man to Timmins District Hospital where he was pronounced deceased later that day.
A subsequent autopsy determined the cause of death to be a single contact gunshot wound to the left anterior chest.
Director Scott said, “As a preliminary observation, in my view, the subject officers had the lawful authority to enter the man’s apartment without possession of a warrant. Based upon the information received, they had reasonable grounds to suspect that entry into the apartment was necessary to prevent imminent harm to the man. There is only one reasonable explanation for the man’s death: he committed suicide by means of a single gunshot wound to his chest. There is no suggestion of any criminal liability with respect to the actions of the two subject officers. If anything, they made a concerted attempt to save the man’s life upon entry into his apartment by the application of CPR. Unfortunately, he died later that day.”
The SIU is a civilian agency that investigates reports involving police where there has been death, serious injury or an allegation 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 investigations to the Attorney General.
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