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News Release

SIU Concludes Investigation into Death at Ottawa Police Headquarters

Case Number: 14-OOD-225

Mississauga (26 November, 2014) ---
The Director of the Special Investigations Unit (SIU), Tony Loparco, has concluded that there are no reasonable grounds to charge any officer with the Ottawa Police Service (OPS) with a criminal offence in relation to the death of 43-year-old OPS Staff Sergeant Kalid Ghadban in September of this year. 

The SIU assigned three investigators and one forensic investigator to probe the circumstances of this incident. As part of the investigation, seven witness officers and one civilian witness were interviewed. 

The SIU investigation found that on Sunday September 28, 2014, S/Sgt Ghadban ended his own life at the Ottawa Police Service Headquarters.  The forensic evidence, the post mortem examination and interviews with the civilian witness and witness officers confirm this conclusion.  

Director Loparco concluded, “The question that this investigation had to answer was whether there was any act or omission by the police which amounted to criminal negligence in the circumstances leading to S/Sgt Ghadban’s death. The investigation determined that while the tactical unit was at Ottawa Police Headquarters at the time of S/Sgt Ghadban’s death, they did not have any direct interaction with him. The tactical team was at the headquarters at the time of the incident because coincidentally they had just provided security for a memorial service at Parliament Hill. They received notification that S/Sgt Ghadban might be suicidal and went looking for him. Some members of the team determined that S/Sgt Ghadban’s firearm was not secured in his locker and others went to the street crime unit, the location of S/Sgt Ghadban’s private office, in order to look for him. When one of the officers indicated that he saw the inner office closed when the outer office was unlocked, the situation seemed serious enough to the senior tactical officer to begin mobilizing the rest of the tactical team. Two of the officers remained behind and began moving furniture around in the outer street crime office and very shortly thereafter a gunshot was heard. When a number of officers rushed into S/Sgt Ghadban’s inner office led by an officer equipped with a ballistic shield, they found S/Sgt Ghadban on the ground suffering from a gunshot wound. The time that passed from the time the tactical team was advised that there might be a problem regarding S/Sgt Ghadban and the time the gunshot was heard was about ten minutes. The time between the first three officers entering the outer street crime office and S/Sgt Ghadban shooting himself was about a couple of minutes. No one attempted to communicate with him prior to his shooting himself. The team hadn’t even had a chance to organize and assemble before having to quickly enter the inner office; they were too late to make a difference. It cannot be said that anything they did or omitted to do would have caused the scenario to have ended any differently. As a result, no criminal liability for negligence could attach to any member of the tactical team.”

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