TORONTO, July 11 /CNW/ - The Director of the Special Investigations Unit
has concluded that there are no reasonable grounds to believe that a Peel
Regional Police officer committed any criminal offence in connection with the
shooting of a 23-year-old man during a stolen vehicle investigation on May 25,
"I believe that the subject officer reasonably perceived a proximate and
real threat to his own life and reacted to that threat by the application of
potentially lethal force," concluded SIU Director, James Cornish. "In my
view, there are no reasonable grounds to believe that the subject officer
committed any criminal offence in this matter."
The non-fatal shooting took place when two officers were conducting an
investigation into stolen vehicles at a motel parking lot at Highway 10 and
Bovaird Drive. When they knocked on the door of one room, a man inside refused
to open the door and warned them that he had a gun. The officers backed off
and called for tactical assistance. However, a guest in a nearby room alerted
the officers that the man had escaped out the rear window of the unit. While
one of the officers followed on foot, the other pursued the suspect in his
cruiser and maintained radio contact with other officers, advising them of the
The suspect ran through a field behind the motel and to the parking lot
of a nearby industrial plaza on Bovaird Drive where the officer in the cruiser
spotted him. The constable activated the siren on his cruiser and shouted for
the man to stop, but he refused.
As the officer left his cruiser to continue the pursuit on foot, he heard
a shot and, in response, fired five shots at the man about 10 - 15 feet away.
He was treated for gunshot wounds: one to his abdomen and another to his left
"Within the span of a few short minutes, the investigation into a
suspected stolen vehicle turned into an armed confrontation," said SIU
Director James Cornish. "The evidence in respect of what happened during this
confrontation is remarkably consistent and is confirmed, in large part, by six
police and 11 independent civilian witnesses in addition to the physical and
video evidence collected by the SIU investigative team."
Mr. Cornish determined: "Given the totality of information that the
subject officer possessed - that the man was armed, that he had earlier
threatened to use the gun on himself, that he refused to stop and relinquish
possession of the weapon and that he fired the gun - I do not believe that it
can be reasonably said that the officer's subjectively held belief that his
life was in jeopardy was unreasonable. Quite to the contrary, I believe that
the belief was objectively grounded and reasonable."
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: John Yoannou, SIU Communications/Service des
communications, UES, Telephone/No de telephone: (416) 622-2342 or/ou