Toronto Firearm Injury and Firearm Death Investigation Concluded
Case Number: 11-TFD-150
Other News Releases Related to Case 11-TFD-150
The SIU assigned six investigators and three forensic investigators to investigate the circumstances surrounding this incident. Two officers were designated as subject officers. They voluntarily consented to be interviewed by SIU investigators. Seven officers were designated as witness officers. Six of these officers were interviewed by the SIU. The seventh officer’s notebook entries were utilized in place of an interview. Twenty-eight civilian witnesses were identified and interviewed. A media appeal was made to have witnesses come forward and provide video or photographs taken of the incident. The incident area was forensically examined; police equipment was seized and examined forensically as was a 9 mm black Beretta pistol. Pertinent documents, as well as audio recordings of TPS radio transmissions were requested and received from the TPS. Video recordings from civilian witnesses were obtained and reviewed.
The SIU’s Affected Persons Coordinator (APC) became involved in this incident at the outset, assisting family members and witnesses with several matters and making referrals to various resources.
The SIU investigation determined that during the early evening of July 30, 2011, Mr. Murray and an accomplice were at the Caribbean Carnival parade on Lakeshore Blvd West. The two of them got into an altercation with another man and a fight eventually ensued. Another individual began recording the fight on his digital camera. Mr. Murray and his accomplice turned their attention to the photographer and began to attack him. At this point, civilian witnesses heard between two and four gun shots. A number of those witnesses observed that at some point in the altercation, Mr. Murray had a gun in his waistband and at one point one of them saw Mr. Murray with a handgun in his right hand, chasing the photographer.
The two subject officers ran westbound on the north side of Lakeshore Blvd and saw the fight in progress. They shouted at all three men to get down to the ground, but the men refused to comply with the officers’ instructions. Mr. Murray, who was still armed with the handgun, and his friend, ran toward the officers. One of the subject officers repeatedly told Mr. Murray to drop his weapon and get down on the ground. Mr. Murray refused to do so and pointed his gun in the direction of the subject officer. Both subject officers discharged their firearms at Mr. Murray. Mr. Murray sustained fatal gunshot injuries.
Ms. Martin was participating in the Caribbean Carnival parade and walking along the route with two of her friends. She had nothing to do with any of the individuals involved in the initial altercation or the confrontation with the photographer. She became aware of a commotion that caused her to turn to her left. She then fell to the ground initially unaware of the reason why she was in pain. She was transported to St. Michael’s Hospital where it was determined she had sustained a firearm injury from one of the bullets that had been discharged by one of the subject officers.
Director Scott said, “In my view, both subject officers had the lawful authority to use lethal force in these circumstances under sections 27 & 34(2) of the Criminal Code. Mr. Murray represented an imminent threat to not only the subject officers but other people in the immediate vicinity. He was armed with a hand gun that he had discharged moments before he was shot, refused to comply with lawful police commands, and had aimed the hand gun at one of the subject officers. That subject officer had the lawful authority to shoot Mr. Murray in self-defence and his partner had the authority to shoot because Mr. Murray was likely to cause immediate grievous bodily harm to either the first subject officer or those in the vicinity.”
Director Scott concluded, “Once the subject officers had the authority to use lethal force, the fact that one of their discharges missed its target and struck an innocent person is a great tragedy. However, given the imminent threat that Mr. Murray represented, I am of the view that the subject officers’ discharges were justified. Accordingly, I have no reasonable grounds to believe that the two subject officers committed a criminal offence in the discharge of their firearms leading to this firearms injury to Ms. Martin.”
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.