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News Release

SIU Concludes Investigation in Toronto Shooting

Case Number: 13-TFI-262

Mississauga (22 July, 2014) ---
The Acting Director of the Special Investigations Unit (SIU), Joseph Martino, has concluded that there are no reasonable grounds to charge an officer with the Toronto Police Service (TPS) with any criminal offence in relation to the firearm injuries of a 52-year-old man in November of 2013.

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 three civilian witnesses were interviewed.  The subject officer consented to an interview and provided the SIU with a copy of his duty notes. SIU forensic investigators also created a scale diagram and took photographs of the scene. 

The SIU investigation found that the following events took place on November 4, 2013: 
  • That afternoon the subject officer and a witness officer accompanied the man’s daughter to the family’s apartment at an address on Kipling Avenue to collect her belongings. 
  • The man argued with his daughter as she made her way to her bedroom and started to gather her things. 
  • The witness officer was with the man and his daughter in the bedroom when the man left the room and went to the kitchen.    
  • The subject officer followed the man.  
  • The subject officer lost sight of the man but could hear him shuffling through utensils.  
  • As the subject officer entered the dining room, he saw the man in the adjoining kitchen through a doorless passageway connecting the rooms.  
  • The man had a knife in his right hand and was turning to his left. He pointed the knife at the officer and began to advance in his direction.  
  • The subject officer, his firearm drawn, repeatedly ordered the man to drop the knife from the adjoining dining room.  
  • The man did not comply. Fearing an imminent knife attack, and up against the back wall of the dining room, the subject officer discharged his firearm twice. The man was struck in his left leg near the hip and right chest.  
  • The man was approximately five or six feet away when the shots were fired.

Acting Director Martino concluded, “The subject officer’s account of what occurred is supported by the witness officer, who provided a very similar description of events.  It is also corroborated by the forensic evidence.  In particular, the photographs and scale diagram of the scene are compelling.  They depict blood staining on the floor just into the dining room past the entranceway to the kitchen.  This is where the man fell just after being shot.  The distance from the kitchen/dining room passageway to the opposite wall of the dining room is about two metres, or six and a half feet, consistent with the evidence of the subject officer on this critical point.  

“These were very tight quarters.  With nowhere left to retreat and confronted by a man holding a knife and pointed in his direction, the subject officer shot when the man refused to drop the knife and neared to within six feet of his location.  In the circumstances, the subject officer’s belief that his life was in danger and that he could not otherwise protect himself than by shooting the man was completely reasonable.    Accordingly, whether pursuant to section 25(3) of the Criminal Code (authorizing the use of lethal force in the execution of an officer’s duty) or section 34 of the Code (justifying force used in self-defence), it is clear that the shooting was legally justified and that there are no grounds to proceed with charges in this case.” 

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. 

Jasbir Dhillon, jasbir.dhillon@ontario.ca
SIU Communications/Service des communications, UES
Telephone/No de téléphone: 416-622-2342 or/ou 1-800-787-8529 extension 2342