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News Release

OPP Officers Not Responsible for Kapuskasing Man’s Death

Case Number: 15-PCD-246

Mississauga, ON (22 August, 2016) ---
The Acting Director of the Special Investigations Unit has determined that Ontario Provincial Police officers are not responsible for the death of a 22-year-old Kapuskasing man.

Five investigators and four forensic investigators were assigned to this incident.

The first subject officer participated in an SIU interview and provided a copy of his duty notes.  The second subject officer did not participate in an SIU and did not provide a copy of his duty notes, as is his legal right.

The Unit’s investigation also included interviews with seven witness officers and four civilian witnesses, as well as analysis of forensic evidence gathered at the scene.    
The SIU investigation found the following:
  • Shortly before midnight on October 24, 2015, Ontario Provincial Police received reports about a 22-year-old man who was missing and in possession of a firearm.
  • Just after 12:30 a.m., subject officer #1 located the man’s truck, on Ballentyne Road south of Highway 11.
  • The officer approached the vehicle and attempted to open the rear driver’s side door.  The man in the vehicle pulled shut and locked the door.
  • At the same time, the officer noticed the barrel of a firearm and quickly retreated to a safer distance.
  • Two specialized response units were called for assistance. 
  • Around 8:30 a.m., the man was found deceased in his vehicle.  The cause of death was a self-inflicted gunshot wound. 

SIU Acting Director Joseph Martino said, “I am satisfied that the officers involved in the search of the man and the subsequent standoff conducted themselves at all times within the confines of the law.  Subject officer #1 and others acted swiftly in locating the man when word was first received that he was missing.  He tried to check on the man, but was forced to make a hasty retreat noticing the firearm in his possession. 

“The caution exercised by the police over the ensuing hours was also justified.  The OPP’s ERT and TRU teams are specifically trained to deal with armed standoffs, and it was reasonable in the circumstances for the first responders to stand back while those teams were deployed.  Officers repeatedly tried and failed to reach the man by phone.  Making matters worse were the heavy tint on the windows of the man’s truck and the darkness of night.  This made it all but impossible for the officers to see into the vehicle and effectively foreclosed an approach to the vehicle among the range of tactics open to the police.  

“It is clear from the evidence that the officers involved in this operation did what they could in the circumstances to prevent the man’s final fateful act while ensuring their own safety and the safety of the public around them.   Accordingly, this file is closed with no charges laid.” 

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. 

Lisez ce communiqué en français.

Jason Gennaro
SIU Communications/Service des communications, UES
Telephone/No de téléphone: 416-622-2342 or/ou 1-800-787-8529 extension 2342