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News Release

SIU Concludes Shooting Investigation in Midland

Case Number: 09-OFD-025

TORONTO (30 March, 2009) --- The Director of the Special Investigations Unit (SIU), Ian Scott, has concluded that there are no reasonable grounds to believe that a Midland Police Service (MPS) officer committed a criminal offence in relation to the firearm death of a 38 year old Midland man last month.

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

On February 3, 2009 just before 5:00 p.m. four MPS officers went to a home on Scott Street to investigate the circumstances of a 9-1-1 call. Three officers entered the home and were confronted by Douglas Heagle. Mr. Heagle had a number of large kitchen knives clenched in both hands. The officers backed off. One officer went to the basement and the other two officers exited the home and went out into the driveway. Mr. Heagle came outside into the driveway and began to advance toward the subject officer with the knife blades pointing outwards. The officers ordered Mr. Heagle numerous times to drop the knives, but he did not do so. He continued moving toward the subject officer, who was backed up against a large snow bank. The subject officer discharged his service pistol one time at Mr. Heagle. Mr. Heagle was struck once in the upper body and fell to the ground dropping the knives from both of his hands.

Mr. Heagle was transported to Huronia Hospital in Midland by ambulance where he succumbed to his injuries.

Director Scott said, “I am of the view that the involved officers had the lawful authority to be on the property and briefly in the residence as they were responding to a
9-1-1 call. Under ss. 25(3) of the Criminal Code, an officer may use lethal force if the officer believes on reasonable grounds that it is necessary for his/her self-preservation.” The Director added, “Given the aggressive advance Mr. Heagle took with a number of edged weapons toward the officer, the warnings to drop the knives that he ignored, and the close proximity between him and the officer, I conclude that the force used was justified in these circumstances.”

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,
SIU Communications/Service des communications, UES
Telephone/No de téléphone: 416-622-2342 or/ou 1-800-787-8529 extension 2342