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News Release

SIU Concludes Investigation into Mississauga Firearm Death

Case Number: 08-OFD-271

Mississauga (8 May, 2009) --- Ian Scott, the Director of the Special Investigations Unit (SIU), has concluded that there are no reasonable grounds to believe that a Peel Regional Police (PRP) officer committed a criminal offence in relation to the firearm death of a 40 year old Mississauga man in December 2008.

The SIU assigned four investigators and three forensic investigators to probe the circumstances of this incident.

The SIU investigation determined that in the early hours of December 21, 2008, three PRP officers went to an apartment on Helene Street in Mississauga in response to a disturbance call. One officer went to speak with the person who had reported the disturbance. The other two officers contacted Mr. Gregory Moynagh and had a conversation with him behind a closed apartment door. Mr. Moynagh told the officers that he was armed with knives, at which point both officers drew their service pistols and backed away from the apartment door. Mr. Moynagh opened the door and confronted the officers. He had a serrated knife in each hand with the blades pointing up. The subject officer backed away toward the south stairwell and the other officer backed up in a northerly direction. Both officers continually shouted at Mr. Moynagh to drop the knives. Instead, Mr. Moynagh, still in possession of the knives, approached the subject officer to the point where there was four feet separating them. The subject officer discharged his firearm twice as Mr. Moynagh lunged in his direction. Mr. Moynagh was struck twice and subsequently pronounced dead at the scene.

Director Scott said, "In my view, the subject officer had the right to use lethal force under either ss. 25(3) or ss. 34(2) of the Criminal Code because he believed on reasonable grounds that it was necessary for his self-preservation and he had reasonable grounds to believe that he could not otherwise preserve himself from imminent death or grievous bodily harm. On the former point, he was being attacked by an aggressive individual armed with two knives who was ignoring multiple orders to disarm himself. On the latter, he was situated at the top of a landing with the stairs behind him. While it may have been possible for the subject officer to run down the stairs to escape the assault, it was not reasonable to expect the subject officer faced with this act of aggression to withdraw. As discussed in R. v. Baxter (1975), 27 C.C.C. (2d) 96 (Ont.C.A.), a person defending himself from an attack, reasonably apprehended, does not have to weigh to a nicety the exact measure of the response."

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