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News Release

SIU Concludes Investigation into Sault Ste. Marie Firearm injury

Case Number: 10-OFI-192

Mississauga (6 January, 2011) --- The Director of the Special Investigations Unit (SIU), Ian Scott, has concluded that there are no reasonable grounds to charge an officer of the Sault Ste. Marie Police Service (SSMPS) with a criminal offence in regards to the injuries sustained by a Sault Ste. Marie man in September of last year.

The SIU assigned four investigators and two forensic investigators to probe the circumstances of this incident.  The SIU designated two officers as witness officers and one officer as a subject officer.   Six civilian witnesses were interviewed.

The SIU investigation determined that on September 4, 2010 at 11:55 p.m. SSMPS officers responded to a 911 call regarding the stabbing of a woman in an apartment on Queen Street West.  When the subject officer entered the apartment he saw a man holding a knife.  This man was positioned overtop of a woman.  The man was given a chance to drop the knife, but failed to do so.  The man began to turn towards the officer.  The officer discharged his firearm once and the man was struck in the rear posterior by a bullet.  Christopher Syrette, 46-years-old, was taken to hospital in Sault Ste. Marie for treatment.  Mr. Syrette was eventually taken to hospital in Toronto for further follow-up treatment.

Director Scott said, “The results of the investigation support the inference that the subject officer may be justified under s. 27 of the Criminal Code in shooting Mr. Syrette because he represented an imminent threat of death or grievous harm to the woman.  Alternatively, given Mr. Syrette’s turning motion in the direction of the subject officer, the subject officer may have been justified in the use of potentially lethal force under ss. 34(2) of the Criminal Code due to an imminent threat to himself.”  

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. 

Lisez ce communiqué en français.

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