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News Release

SIU Concludes Investigation into Hamilton Shooting

Case Number: 09-OFI-031

Mississauga (4 May, 2009) --- The Director of the Special Investigations Unit (SIU) Ian Scott has concluded that there are no reasonable grounds to believe that an officer of the Hamilton Police Service (HPS) committed any criminal offence in relation to the firearm injuries sustained by an 18 year old Hamilton man in February.

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

On February 12, 2009 two officers of the HPS were conducting a criminal investigation in regards to the activities of Mr. William Beckingham. They stopped Mr. Beckingham’s car on James Street. Both officers approached the car with their guns drawn. Mr. Beckingham grabbed a handgun that was in the car, exited with the handgun in his right hand, and started to flee on foot in a densely residential area in the late afternoon. The subject officer discharged his firearm and Mr. Beckingham was struck twice.

Director Scott said, “The subject officer had reasonable grounds to arrest Mr. Beckingham for criminal offences. Mr. Beckingham who had armed himself with a handgun began to flee through the residential area. Pursuant to ss 25(4) of the Criminal Code a police officer is justified in using lethal force if he/she is engaged in a lawful arrest, the person flees, and the officer believes on reasonable grounds that force is necessary for the purpose of protecting any other person from imminent death or grievous bodily harm. Here, the arrest was lawful, Mr. Beckingham fled, attempting to elude the police, with a firearm in his hand in circumstances where he was endangering everyone proximate to his location.”

Director Scott concluded, “The subject officer had reasonable grounds to use lethal force in the circumstances 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. 

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