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News Release

SIU Concludes Hamilton Firearm Injury Investigation

Case Number: 10-OFI-204

Mississauga (4 November, 2010) --- The Director of the Special Investigations Unit (SIU), Ian Scott, has concluded that there are no reasonable grounds to charge a Hamilton Police Service (HPS) officer with a criminal offence in regards to the gunshot injury sustained by a 39-year-old Hamilton man in September. 

On September 21, 2010 the HPS contacted the SIU to report that HPS officers had been sent to a home on the west mountain in Hamilton to investigate a man who had allegedly threatened to harm someone.  The officers located a man and after interacting with him an officer fired a shot wounding him.

The SIU dispatched six investigators and three forensic investigators to probe the circumstances of this occurrence.  One officer was designated as a subject officer and four officers were designated as witness officers.

The SIU investigation determined that three HPS officers went to assist the Children’s Aid Society at a home on Cranbrook Drive in Hamilton.  The officers spoke with Mr. Tyrone Fisher and decided to apprehend him.  As the officers approached him, Mr. Fisher pulled out a long knife and ran from them in the direction of a nearby school.  The subject officer deployed a Taser several times into Mr. Fisher’s back with no effect.
 The subject officer also used pepper spray on Mr. Fisher, but due to the wind conditions at the time it proved to be ineffective.  The officers eventually cornered Mr. Fisher near a van and demanded that he drop the knife.  Mr.  Fisher did not comply with those demands.  A citizen in the vicinity opened the front door of her home and yelled at the officer and Mr. Fisher.  Mr. Fisher ran north toward the subject officer and in the direction of the door of the home. The subject officer discharged his firearm once.  The bullet struck Mr. Fisher in the lower left arm. The bullet passed through Mr. Fisher’s arm and lodged in the frame of a basement window.  Mr. Fisher went into the vestibule of the home and descended to the basement area.  An officer went into the home and disarmed Mr. Fisher by striking him on his arm with an ASP baton.

Director Scott concluded, “In my view, the subject officer was justified in using lethal force pursuant to either ss. 34(2) or s. 27 of the Criminal Code for the following reasons:
  • Mr. Fisher was armed with a knife;
  • He was acting in an irrational manner;
  • He was not complying with police demands;
  • He was unresponsive to the deployment of less than lethal use of force techniques; and
  • He ran in the direction of both the subject officer and a citizen who could have been placed in imminent danger.
Accordingly, in law, it is my opinion that the subject officer could reasonably rely upon the defence of self under ss. 34(2) and/or the defence of others under s. 27 of the Criminal Code.”

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