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News Release

SIU Concludes Toronto Shooting Investigation

Case Number: 11-TFI-008

Mississauga (6 April, 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 Toronto Police Service (TPS) with a criminal offence in regards to the firearm injury sustained by 44-year-old Richard Kachkar in January of this year.

The SIU assigned twelve investigators and four forensic investigators to probe the circumstances surrounding this occurrence. One officer was designated as a subject officer and seventeen officers were designated as witness officers. Twenty civilian witnesses were located and interviewed. The roadway scene was processed and recorded by the SIU. Photographs were taken, video recordings made and measurements were taken of the scene. A scale drawing was produced and a collision reconstruction investigation was conducted. Forensic information related to firearms and ballistics were requested and obtained, the latest received by the SIU on March 25th.

On January 12, 2011 at 5:20 a.m., Mr. Kachkar allegedly stole a pickup truck with a large snow plough blade from the area of Dundas and Parliament Streets. At approximately 6:00 a.m., Sergeant (Sgt) Ryan Russell attempted to stop the vehicle when he and his police cruiser were struck by the escaping truck. Tragically, Sgt Russell died as a result of the injuries he received.

Soon thereafter, Emergency Task Force (ETF) personnel and vehicles became involved in a pursuit. They were initially informed that the vehicle in question had intentionally rammed police cruisers. Mr. Kachkar continued to flee in the pickup truck, ultimately travelling westbound along Bloor Street West, and then northbound on Keele Street. On Keele Street, south of Annette Street, the truck collided with the front end of an oncoming garbage truck and was quickly pinned by ETF vehicles. A number of officers approached the truck. They shouted at the driver to get out of his vehicle and show his hands. He refused to comply. Four officers discharged their conducted energy weapons (‘CEWs’) through the open side windows. At least some of the probes connected with the complainant, causing him to become temporarily immobilized. The ETF Sergeant ordered the officers to turn off the CEWs because he intended to have his officers physically engage Mr. Kachkar in an attempt to remove him from the vehicle. Mr. Kachkar put his foot on the accelerator and moved the vehicle forward, pinning an officer’s leg between it and the garbage truck. The officer yelled, "I’m stuck. I’m stuck. The vehicle’s crushing me." Almost immediately, the subject officer twice discharged his service pistol at Mr. Kachkar through the driver’s side window, striking him in the right rear shoulder area and left arm. (The projectile that entered the triceps muscle of his left arm exited near his left collar bone and then struck his nose before continuing on its path.) A witness officer opened the driver’s side door, pulled out Mr. Kachkar, and placed him on the ground where he was handcuffed and arrested.

Director Scott said, "In my view, the subject officer was justified in the use of potentially lethal force when he discharged his firearm twice at Mr. Kachkar. He knew that the complainant engaged in reckless behaviour by ramming another vehicle (it is unclear whether the subject officer knew about the striking of Sgt Russell before discharging his firearm); he saw the deployment of the CEWs and Mr. Kachkar’s continued non-compliance even after their use, and he then witnessed Mr. Kachkar’s vehicle pinning a fellow officer between the stolen vehicle and a garbage truck. Under the provisions of the Criminal Code of Canada, which authorizes the use of as much force as is reasonably necessary to prevent the commission of an offence that would be likely to cause immediate and serious injury to another person; the subject officer was justified in shooting at Mr. Kachkar and causing his injuries."

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. 

Frank Phillips, frank.phillips@ontario.ca
SIU Communications/Service des communications, UES
Telephone/No de téléphone: 416-622-2342 or/ou 1-800-787-8529 extension 2342