SIU Director Finds No Reasonable Grounds to Charge Waterloo Officer in April Shooting
Case Number: 15-OFI-081
Other News Releases Related to Case 15-OFI-081
(24 November, 2015) ---
The Director of the Special Investigations Unit, Tony Loparco, has concluded a Waterloo Regional Police Service officer was justified in shooting Wesley LaForme outside of a townhouse in Cambridge just after midnight on April 30, 2015.
The SIU assigned six investigators and two forensic investigators to probe the circumstances of this incident.
As part of the investigation, six witness officers and three civilian witnesses were interviewed. The subject officer did not consent to an interview with the SIU and did not provide a copy of her duty notes, as was her legal right.
The SIU investigation found the following:
- On the evening of April 29, 2015, a woman called police to report a domestic assault allegation during an incident earlier that day.
- The woman told police that she had ended her relationship with 30-year-old Wesley LaForme that morning during an encounter at her home. At that time, she said he choked her and threatened to kill her.
- Just after midnight on April 30, a few hours after the woman notified police of the incident, Mr. LaForme returned to the woman’s townhouse. She called 911 as he was breaking into the residence.
- The subject officer was the first officer at the scene and parked in front of the driveway of the townhouse.
- As the officer was parking, the woman exited the home and was walking towards the cruiser. Mr. LaForme was walking towards the woman with a kitchen knife in his hand.
- Mr. LaForme caught up to the woman and began stabbing the woman in the body, neck, and face.
- The subject officer tried to manually disarm Mr. LaForme but the officer was stabbed in the leg. She then shot Mr. LaForme one time.
Director Loparco noted the only issue in this matter was whether the shooting was justified under Criminal Code section 34(1), which provides the legal justification for the use of force in self-defence or defence of others.
“Though the subject officer declined to participate in the SIU investigation, as is her legal right, the available evidence satisfies, on reasonable grounds, all three conditions in section 34,” Director Loparco said.
“The subject officer encountered Mr. LaForme armed with a large knife. He immediately began attacking the woman with deadly force right in front of the police officer. The subject officer did not immediately shoot him, however. One would expect that, even at close range, such a shot could have placed the woman at significant risk. Instead, the officer tried to physically disarm Mr. LaForme. He fought her off and stabbed her in the leg. Having been seriously wounded, the subject officer had no other choice but to use lethal force to stop Mr. LaForme.
“In the final analysis, the subject officer was acting within her duty to protect and preserve life when she came to the woman’s aid,” he said. “This drew the officer into a life or death struggle with Mr. LaForme, and her prompt actions likely saved the woman’s 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.
Jason Gennaro, email@example.com
SIU Communications/Service des communications, UES
Telephone/No de téléphone: 416-641-1897 or/ou 1-800-787-8529 extension 1897