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News Release

SIU Concludes Firearm Injury Investigation in Tweed

Case Number: 11-PFI-098

Mississauga (6 July, 2011) --- The Director of the Special Investigations Unit (SIU), Ian Scott, has concluded that there are no reasonable grounds to charge any officers of the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) Central Hastings Detachment with a criminal offence in regards to the firearm injury sustained by 22-year-old Nathan Williams of Tweed in early June of this year.

The SIU assigned five investigators and two forensic investigators to investigate this matter. The shooting scene was photographed and videotaped. Two spent cartridge cases and a projectile were recovered from that scene. Additional evidence was seized and processed. A canvass of the building was conducted by the SIU for witnesses.

One officer was designated as a subject officer and one officer was designated as a witness officer. The witness officer was interviewed and the subject officer declined to be interviewed, as is his right. Six civilian witnesses were also interviewed.

The SIU investigation determined that on the evening of June 7, 2011 the subject officer and witness officer were dispatched to an apartment residence in Tweed with respect to a domestic dispute. Upon their arrival at the residence, the officers knocked on the door. Mr. Williams opened the door to his apartment and ran out chasing the subject officer. Mr. Williams, covered in blood and waving a knife, cut the subject officer in the left arm. The officers retreated down a set of stairs. The subject officer was at the bottom of the stairs. He fired his pistol twice at Mr. Williams striking him twice and Mr. Williams slumped to the floor, saying "thank you." At the point of discharge, the witness officer was approximately half way down the stairs.

One of the projectiles struck Mr. Williams in the right shoulder and the other in his abdomen. He is expected to survive.

Director Scott said, "Even though the subject officer did not provide a statement, I am of the view that he had the lawful authority to use lethal force under ss. 34(2) of the Criminal Code because he had been unlawfully assaulted by Mr. Williams, had a reasonable apprehension of death or grievous bodily harm, and believed on reasonable grounds that he had no other reasonable avenue of escape. As well, he had the authority to use lethal force under Code s. 27 to prevent a potentially lethal assault upon the witness officer. The only reasonable inference to draw from the investigation is that Mr. Williams was attempting to provoke one or both of the officers to shoot him by attacking them with a knife, and was effective in attaining his objective."

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