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News Release

SIU Closes Investigation into Toronto Firearm Injury

Case Number: 11-TFI-190

Mississauga (24 October, 2011) ---

The Director of the Special Investigations Unit (SIU), Ian Scott, has concluded that there are no reasonable grounds to charge a Toronto Police Service (TPS) officer with a criminal offence in regards to the firearm injury sustained by 23-year-old Ankur Patel on September 19, 2011.

The SIU assigned eleven investigators and three forensic investigators to look into the circumstances surrounding this incident. The only subject officer designated declined the SIU’s request to be interviewed as is his legal right. Nine officers were designated as witness officers – eight of whom were interviewed, while the ninth officer’s notebook entries were reviewed. Fifteen civilian witnesses were identified and interviewed. The incident area was examined and exhibits relevant to the incident such as projectiles and the subject officer’s duty belt, clothing and firearm were seized and forensically examined. Pertinent documents, audio recordings of TPS radio transmissions and video recordings were obtained.

The SIU investigation found that the following events took place on September 19:

• During the afternoon, the uniformed subject officer was engaged in paid duty work for construction workers involved in road repairs near the intersection of Yonge Street and Shuter Street.

• Shortly before 2 p.m., Mr. Patel approached the officer from the south side of Shuter Street with a steak knife in each hand.

• The officer drew and pointed his police-issued Glock pistol, began backing up and ordered Mr. Patel to stop and drop his knives. The complainant did not comply with the officer’s request. He continued to rapidly close the distance between himself and the officer.

• At a distance of approximately four feet, the officer discharged his firearm twice. One projectile missed Mr. Patel and entered the left front tire of a backhoe tractor on the south side of Shuter Street. The other entered the front of Mr. Patel’s abdomen. It was surgically removed after the complainant was taken to St. Michael’s Hospital. He is expected to recover.

Director Scott said, "In my view, there are no reasonable grounds to believe that the subject officer committed a criminal offence in relation to the firearm injury sustained by Mr. Patel. There is a strong consistency among the contents of the civilian witness statements and closed circuit video surveillance imagery of the incident.

"The subject officer was justified in discharging his firearm at Mr. Patel under ss. 34(2) of the Criminal Code. That subsection justifies anyone who is unlawfully assaulted and causes grievous bodily harm in repelling the assault if he believes on reasonable grounds that he is facing imminent death or grievous bodily harm and cannot otherwise escape from that danger. Here, the subject officer was attacked by a stranger for no apparent reason who represented an imminent threat to that officer. Mr. Patel did not comply with the subject officer’s commands to stop and drop his knives. On the contrary, he continued to approach the subject officer who was attempting to retreat, leaving him no option but to discharge his firearm."

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