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News Release

SIU Concludes Death Investigation in London

Case Number: 13-OCD-085

Mississauga (3 May, 2013) --- The Director of the Special Investigations Unit (SIU), Ian Scott, has concluded that there are no reasonable grounds to charge two London Police Service officers with any criminal offence in relation to the death of a 45-year-old man last month.

The SIU assigned five investigators and three forensic investigators to probe the circumstances of this incident. As part of the investigation, seven witness officers and four civilian witnesses 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, April 3, 2013:
• At approximately 5 p.m., the subject officers were dispatched to a townhouse unit located at 1775 Culver Drive regarding a suicidal male. 
• The officers spoke with a woman at the front door of the unit, and were informed that the man had barricaded himself in his room. She further informed them that she saw the man on his bed holding a metal object at his head and saying that he wanted to kill himself. 
• The two officers ascended the stairs when they heard a ‘pop’ sound and glass breaking behind a closed bedroom door. Backup was called. One of the subject officers was able to partially open the door by pushing it open with a broom handle. She saw the man lying on a bed with a barreled metallic object pointing in her direction. She drew her firearm, backed up and continued to call out to the man, receiving no response. When other officers and the Emergency Response Unit arrived, the two subject officers left the residence.
• The man was transported to London Health Sciences Centre Victoria Hospital where he passed away the following day. 
• A homemade firing apparatus, commonly referred to as a ‘zip gun’, was found in the room.

A subsequent autopsy determined the cause of death to be a single gunshot wound to the head.

Director Scott said, “In my view, the subject officers had the lawful authority to enter the residence in question because they had the consent of one of its occupiers. There is only one reasonable explanation for the cause of death in this matter:  the man took his own life by discharging a projectile into his head from a homemade firing apparatus.  The actions of the subject officers appear by all accounts to be unrelated to the decedent’s tragic decision to take his life.”     

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