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News Release

SIU Concludes Investigation into Death of Man in Peterborough

Case Number: 15-OCD-052

Mississauga (25 September, 2015) --- The Director of the Special Investigations Unit (SIU), Tony Loparco, has concluded that there are no reasonable grounds to charge a Peterborough Police Service officer with any criminal offence in relation to the death of a 58-year-old man in March of 2015.

The SIU assigned three investigators and one forensic investigator to probe the circumstances of this incident. As part of the investigation, two civilian witnesses and five witness officers were interviewed. The subject officer did not participate in an SIU interview and did not provide a copy of his duty notes, as is his legal right.

The SIU investigation found that the following events took place on Saturday, March 28, 2015:
• In the afternoon hours, the 58-year-old man left a voice message for a family member saying he was planning on taking his own life. The police were called and an officer attended the man’s residence. The man was not there, but the officer established that a shotgun was missing from the home’s gun locker. 
• At 5:17 p.m., the man himself contacted the police. He revealed that he was in the Walmart parking lot on Chemong Road in Peterborough and confirmed that he was going to commit suicide.
• Officers quickly attended the location. They set up a perimeter around the vehicle, contained the scene and locked down the Walmart to ensure that no passersby and shoppers were placed in harm’s way. A trained negotiator was brought in to speak with the man; however, calls to the man‘s cell phone and hails from a loudspeaker went unanswered. The officers maintained their positions throughout the standoff.
• At approximately 8 p.m., the man raised his right hand holding a shotgun, pointed it at the right side of his head and pulled the trigger. Police officers rushed to the vehicle to render assistance.
• The man was pronounced dead at the scene. 

A shotgun was recovered from the vehicle and a suicide note was located in the front passenger seat footwell.   

Director Loparco said, “It is apparent on this record that the officers did what they could in the circumstances to prevent the man from hurting himself while taking reasonable steps to ensure their safety and the safety of the public around them. They were wise in attempting to resolve the standoff peacefully from a distance given their information about a gun in the man’s possession, and then acted swiftly to try and save his life after seeing him shoot himself. Accordingly, I am satisfied on reasonable grounds that all of the officers conducted themselves professionally and with due regard for the care and safety of those around them, including the man, throughout this unfortunate series of events, and that there is therefore no basis for proceeding 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. 

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