SIU Concludes Investigation into Sudbury Shooting
Case Number: 05-OFI-077
Other News Releases Related to Case 05-OFI-077
On May 19, 2005, James Kinnunen was involved in a confrontation with GSPS officers, which ended after he was shot once in the chest. Mr. Kinnunen was taken to hospital where he was treated for his injury.
As part of the investigation, SIU investigators designated one subject and three witness officers from the GSPS. Forensic identification technicians photographed and measured the shooting scene and collected all pertinent evidence, including one spent .40 calibre shell case and a green plastic knife case with the knife inside.
The SIU investigation revealed that at approximately 10:50 p.m., two GSPS officers were dispatched to a family dispute call at a home on Norma Street in Sudbury. When the officers arrived they were told that Mr. Kinnunen was acting irrationally and had run into the yard. The officers instructed the people in the home to stay inside while they went outside to find Mr. Kinnunen. They found him hiding underneath a car. The officers identified themselves as police officers and tried, unsuccessfully, to speak with him.
Mr. Kinnunen then jumped up and started running towards the officers. The officers retreated; one officer ran down the driveway and the other ran towards the house. Mr. Kinnunen told the police he wanted them to leave and walked toward one officer. The second officer had removed his ASP baton but dropped his baton and drew his firearm when he heard his partner yell that the man had a knife. The subject officer, who had his firearm drawn, ordered Mr. Kinnunen to stop. The officer re-holstered his firearm because he was not sure where Mr. Kinnunen had the knife (in his hand, on his belt etc.) The officer tried again to talk to Mr. Kinnunen who had stopped advancing on his partner.
Mr. Kinnunen started walking towards the house. The subject officer chased after him to stop him from entering the house fearing for the safety of the other occupants. As the officer followed, he ordered Mr. Kinnunen not to enter the house. The officer saw that Mr. Kinnunen had the knife in his hand and again drew his firearm. Mr. Kinnunen approached the officer with the knife in his hand and the officer shot once. Mr. Kinnunen was about 60 centimetres away from the officer's gun when he was struck in the chest.
Based upon the totality of the evidence, Director Cornish concluded the subject officer was justified in resorting to the use of his firearm, as he reasonably feared for his own safety and for the safety of others. He stated, "The officer continuously assessed and adjusted his choice of use of force options to meet with the circumstances as they unfolded. Fortunately for all, no one was killed as a result of this incident."
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.