SIU Concludes Investigation into Mississauga Firearm Death

    MISSISSAUGA, ON, May 8 /CNW/ - Ian Scott, the Director of the Special
Investigations Unit (SIU), has concluded that there are no reasonable grounds
to believe that a Peel Regional Police (PRP) officer committed a criminal
offence in relation to the firearm death of a 25 year old Mississauga man in
December 2008.
    The SIU assigned four investigators and three forensic investigators to
probe the circumstances of this incident.
    The SIU investigation determined that in the early hours of December 21,
2008, three PRP officers went to an apartment on Helene Street in Mississauga
in response to a disturbance call. One officer went to speak with the person
who had reported the disturbance. The other two officers contacted Mr. Gregory
Moynagh and had a conversation with him behind a closed apartment door. Mr.
Moynagh told the officers that he was armed with knives, at which point both
officers drew their service pistols and backed away from the apartment door.
Mr. Moynagh opened the door and confronted the officers. He had a serrated
knife in each hand with the blades pointing up. The subject officer backed
away toward the south stairwell and the other officer backed up in a northerly
direction. Both officers continually shouted at Mr. Moynagh to drop the
knives. Instead, Mr. Moynagh, still in possession of the knives, approached
the subject officer to the point where there was four feet separating them.
The subject officer discharged his firearm twice as Mr. Moynagh lunged in his
direction. Mr. Moynagh was struck twice and subsequently pronounced dead at
the scene.
    Director Scott said, "In my view, the subject officer had the right to
use lethal force under either ss. 25(3) or ss. 34(2) of the Criminal Code
because he believed on reasonable grounds that it was necessary for his
self-preservation and he had reasonable grounds to believe that he could not
otherwise preserve himself from imminent death or grievous bodily harm. On the
former point, he was being attacked by an aggressive individual armed with two
knives who was ignoring multiple orders to disarm himself. On the latter, he
was situated at the top of a landing with the stairs behind him. While it may
have been possible for the subject officer to run down the stairs to escape
the assault, it was not reasonable to expect the subject officer faced with
this act of aggression to withdraw. As discussed in R. v. Baxter (1975), 27
C.C.C. (2d) 96 (Ont.C.A.), a person defending himself from an attack,
reasonably apprehended, does not have to weigh to a nicety the exact measure
of the response."

    The SIU is a civilian agency that investigates cases of serious injuries
(including allegations of sexual assault) and deaths involving the police.
Pursuant to section 113 of the Police Services Act, the Director of the SIU is
mandated to consider whether a criminal offence has been committed by an
officer(s) in connection with the incident under investigation and, where
warranted by the evidence, to cause a criminal charge or charges to be laid
against the officer(s). The Director reports the results of investigations to
the Attorney General.

For further information:

For further information: Frank Phillips, SIU Communications/Service des
communications, UES, Telephone/No de telephone: (416) 622-2342 or/ou

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