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News Release

SIU Concludes Investigation into Non-Fatal Police Shooting in Brampton

Case Number: 08-OFI-087

TORONTO (11 July, 2008) --- The Director of the Special Investigations Unit has concluded that there are no reasonable grounds to believe that a Peel Regional Police officer committed any criminal offence in connection with the shooting of a 23-year-old man during a stolen vehicle investigation on May 25, 2008.

"I believe that the subject officer reasonably perceived a proximate and real threat to his own life and reacted to that threat by the application of potentially lethal force," concluded SIU Director, James Cornish. "In my view, there are no reasonable grounds to believe that the subject officer committed any criminal offence in this matter."

The non-fatal shooting took place when two officers were conducting an investigation into stolen vehicles at a motel parking lot at Highway 10 and Bovaird [JM1]Drive. When they knocked on the door of one room, a man inside refused to open the door and warned them that he had a gun. The officers backed off and called for tactical assistance. However, a guest in a nearby room alerted the officers that the man had escaped out the rear window of the unit. While one of the officers followed on foot, the other pursued the suspect in his cruiser and maintained radio contact with other officers, advising them of the pursuit.

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The suspect ran through a field behind the motel and to the parking lot of a nearby industrial plaza on Bovaird Drive where the officer in the cruiser spotted him. The constable activated the siren on his cruiser and shouted for the man to stop, but he refused.

As the officer left his cruiser to continue the pursuit on foot, he heard a shot and, in response, fired five shots at the man about 10 - 15 feet away. He was treated for gunshot wounds: one to his abdomen and another to his left leg.

"Within the span of a few short minutes, the investigation into a suspected stolen vehicle turned into an armed confrontation," said SIU Director James Cornish. "The evidence in respect of what happened during this confrontation is remarkably consistent and is confirmed, in large part, by six police and 11 independent civilian witnesses in addition to the physical and video evidence collected by the SIU investigative team."

Mr. Cornish determined: "Given the totality of information that the subject officer possessed - that the man was armed, that he had earlier threatened to use the gun on himself, that he refused to stop and relinquish possession of the weapon and that he fired the gun - I do not believe that it can be reasonably said that the officer's subjectively held belief that his life was in jeopardy was unreasonable. Quite to the contrary, I believe that the belief was objectively grounded and reasonable."

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