SIU Concludes Middlesex County Firearms Injuries Investigation
Case Number: 13-PFI-192
Other News Releases Related to Case 13-PFI-192
Mississauga (10 September, 2013) --- The Director of the Special Investigations Unit (SIU), Ian Scott, has concluded that there are no reasonable grounds to charge any officer with the Ontario Provincial Police with a criminal offence in relation to the shooting injuries sustained last month by a male who was 17-years-old at the time of the incident.
The SIU assigned five investigators and two forensic investigators to probe the circumstances of this incident. As part of the investigation, eight witness officers and eight civilian witnesses were interviewed. Three subject officers were designated. Two of the subject officers did not consent to an interview or provide the SIU with a copy of their notes, as is their legal right. The third subject officer provided the SIU with a copy of his duty notes but did not consent to an interview. A combination of firearms and ballistics analysis, as well as civilian and police witness statements provided enough information to understand the material events related to this incident.
The SIU investigation found that the following events took place on Saturday, August 3, 2013:
• In the morning hours, the three subject officers and a witness officer were investigating a robbery/attempt murder on the Oneida First Nations settlement. The officers received information that a 17-year-old male suspect had armed himself with a sawed-off rifle and was walking down Elijah Road.
• As officers arrived on scene in their cruisers, the suspect turned and fired a shot in the direction of a civilian and one of the officers. The officers reversed their cruisers and followed the male from a distance as he continued to walk westbound on Elijah Road. The officers stopped about 45 meters from him and exited their cruisers. The male reloaded his rifle, turned and walked towards the officers who had taken cover behind one of the cruisers. He discharged a second shot towards the officers. The projectile entered the rear door on the driver’s side of the cruiser. All of the officers returned fire, striking the male and causing him to fall to the ground.
• The male was provided immediate medical aid at the scene and transported to London Health Sciences Centre where he was diagnosed as sustaining multiple gunshot wounds: one above his right eye, an entrance and related exit wound in his upper chest, and wounds to both arms. He is expected to survive.
Forensic examination of the scene determined that one of the four involved officer’s discharges did not strike the complainant.
Director Scott said, “In my view, the subject officers were justified in their use of lethal force in these circumstances. The male proved himself to be an imminent threat to the lives of an officer and a civilian when he discharged a round at them, and underscored that imminent threat when he discharged another round at the four involved officers. It was clear on this pattern of behaviour that the male continued to represent an imminent threat to the lives of the officers at the time they discharged their firearms at him. Accordingly, I have no grounds to believe that the subject officers committed a criminal offence when they discharged their firearms at the male.”
The SIU is an independent government agency that investigates the conduct of officials (police officers as well as special constables with the Niagara Parks Commission and peace officers with the Legislative Protective Service) that may have resulted in death, serious injury, sexual assault and/or the discharge of a firearm at a person. All investigations are conducted by SIU investigators who are civilians. Under the Special Investigations Unit Act, the Director of the SIU must
- consider whether the official has committed a criminal offence in connection with the incident under investigation
- depending on the evidence, cause a criminal charge to be laid against the official where grounds exist for doing so, or close the file without any charges being laid
- publicly report the results of its investigations