SIU Terminates Investigation into Discharge of Firearm by Police Officer in Richmond Hill
Case Number: 19-OFI-310
(13 January, 2020) ---
The Director of the Special Investigations Unit, Joseph Martino, has terminated an investigation into an exchange of gunfire that occurred last month between a 34-year-old man and a York Regional Police (YRP) officer in Richmond Hill.
At approximately 10:30 a.m. on December 27, 2019, the officer was driving a marked cruiser when he noticed a person of interest operating a vehicle. Due to breach of conditions, the officer learned there were grounds to arrest the 34-year-old man. When the man pulled into the parking lot of a gas station, located on the southwest corner of Bayview Avenue and Major Mackenzie Drive, the officer also entered into the parking lot. While the man was assisting a person with their vehicle, the officer approached him to place him under arrest. The man ran, and there was an exchange of gunfire between him and the officer. The man then entered his vehicle and left the parking lot, with the officer following behind. The man made his way to his residence and barricaded himself inside while police surrounded the outside of the home. At approximately 9:40 p.m., after several attempts to try and get the man to come out of the residence, police officers threw tear gas inside the home. Soon after, the man used a long gun to shoot at the police officers. No police officers were injured at this time. At approximately 10:30 p.m., the man surrendered on his own will, walked out of the home and was placed in custody.
The following day, SIU investigators met with the man inside a courthouse jail cell. The man did not sustain any serious injury as a result of the events of the day prior.
Director Martino said, “On December 27, 2019, the YRP notified the SIU of an exchange of gunfire occurring that morning in Richmond Hill. It was unknown at the time whether the man had been shot or sustained any other injuries. The SIU invoked its jurisdiction and commenced an investigation.
“Based upon the SIU’s preliminary inquiries, including an interview with the man and a review of a video recording of the incident from the gas station, it is evident that the man did not sustain any serious injury. Consequently, the SIU is without statutory jurisdiction to proceed further with its involvement in the matter. The SIU investigation is therefore discontinued and the file is closed.”
The SIU is an independent government agency that investigates the conduct of officials (police officers as well as special constables with the Niagara Parks Commission and peace officers with the Legislative Protective Service) that may have resulted in death, serious injury, sexual assault and/or the discharge of a firearm at a person. All investigations are conducted by SIU investigators who are civilians. Under the Special Investigations Unit Act, the Director of the SIU must
- consider whether the official has committed a criminal offence in connection with the incident under investigation
- depending on the evidence, cause a criminal charge to be laid against the official where grounds exist for doing so, or close the file without any charges being laid
- publicly report the results of its investigations
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Monica Hudon, firstname.lastname@example.org
SIU Communications/Service des communications, UES
Telephone/No de téléphone: 416-622-2342 or/ou 1-800-787-8529 extension 2342