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News Release

SIU Concludes Toronto Shooting Investigation

Case Number: 05-TFI-109

TORONTO (30 September, 2005) --- James Cornish, the Director of the Special Investigations Unit (SIU), has concluded that a Toronto Police Service (TPS) officer's use of force was legally justified.

On July 27, 2005, a 32-year-old man suffered a single gunshot wound to his chest after being shot by a TPS officer. He was treated in hospital for his injuries and released.

The SIU investigation revealed that at about 6:08 a.m. on July 27, 2005, a woman called police for help after a family member started acting in a threatening manner. Four officers were dispatched to the call. Emergency Task Force (ETF) officers were also notified because the address was flagged on the police computer for violence and instructions to send a minimum of four officers on any call to that address.

At about 6:15 a.m., the officers arrived at 65 Havenbrook Boulevard and learned that the person of interest had left the home armed with a hammer. One officer stayed with the woman while the other officers searched the units in the housing complex.

The officers found the man near some bushes and called out to him, saying they wanted to speak with him. The man walked and then started to run from the officers. The officers ran after him, telling him to stop.

After a short distance, the man stopped and faced the officers with a hammer in his hand. At 6:52 a.m., the officers drew their guns and ordered him to drop the hammer and get down on the ground. The man turned away and walked quickly toward the backyard of his housing unit.

The officers followed and issued commands to the man as he approached the rear patio doors. The officers were concerned he was going to enter his home and harm the family member who had called the police about his behaviour. They raised their voices and commanded him to drop the hammer and get down on the ground.

The man turned and walked toward the officers with the hammer raised above his head. The officers backed away by walking backwards up a slight incline and repeatedly issued commands to the man. He disregarded those commands and closed the gap between himself and the officers. At 6:54 a.m., an officer fired twice, striking the man  once in the chest.

Having reviewed the evidence, Director Cornish concluded the officers were retreating but could not retreat as fast as the man  advanced; he was shot when he got within 15 feet, or closer, of the officers. Director Cornish stated, "The subject officer had a real, honest and objectively reasonable fear that this man was about to kill or cause serious bodily harm to one of the other officers. The use of lethal force was warranted and thankfully, this man survived."

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. 

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