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News Release

SIU Concludes Investigation into Ottawa Firearm Injury

Case Number: 09-OFI-128

Mississauga (29 July, 2009) --- The Director of the Special Investigations Unit (SIU), Ian Scott, has determined that there are no reasonable grounds to believe that an Ottawa Police Service (OPS) officer committed a criminal offence with respect to the firearm injury of Glenn Burrell on June 3, 2009.

The SIU assigned four investigators and three forensic investigators to probe the circumstances of the shooting. The SIU also designated one subject officer and eight witness officers from the OPS.

On June 3, 2009, at about 4:30 p.m., the subject officer was a member of a team involved in executing a drug search warrant at an apartment on Cumberland St. The subject officer went inside the apartment and began to apprehend Mr. Burrell. Immediately, a barking pit bull ran towards them. The subject officer shot at the dog in an attempt to stop it. The bullet went through the dog's leg and into Mr. Burrell's leg, causing Mr. Burrell serious injury.

Director Scott said, "The subject officer was legally in the apartment on the basis of a facially valid search warrant. He was confronted by a dog known to have a potentially dangerous temperament, particularly in a confrontational situation such as the dynamic execution of a search warrant, and reasonably chose to eliminate the threat. He was permitted to do so pursuant to ss. 10(b) of O. Reg 926 of the Police Services Act. Regrettably, the one bullet injured Mr. Burrell. I am of the view that the officer had the lawful authority to discharge his firearm in these circumstances on the basis of the aforementioned regulation. The fact that someone was injured in the process of shooting the dog was an unfortunate corollary to a lawful discharge of his firearm. Given the dynamic nature of the situation, the element of surprise, and the close proximity of the dog to the subject officer, he had to discharge his firearm quickly."

The Director concluded, "There is no indication that the subject officer was careless or criminally negligent in his actions. Accordingly, no criminal liability can attach to this intentional firearm discharge that had unforeseen consequences."

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. 

Monica Hudon, monica.hudon@ontario.ca
SIU Communications/Service des communications, UES
Telephone/No de téléphone: 416-622-2342 or/ou 1-800-787-8529 extension 2342