SIU Clears Toronto Officers Who Killed Man Who Had A Shotgun Outside Scarborough School

Two Toronto police officers correctly shot and killed a man near a Scarborough elementary school after pointing a rifle at them, the Ontario Special Investigations Unit director concluded.

The officers reasonably feared for their lives and saw “a clear and present threat to public safety,” the director of the SIU concluded in a report released Friday.

The officers would not have known that the 27-year-old man was holding a shotgun and could not be sure that it was a non-lethal weapon, wrote Joseph Martino, director of the provincial agency that investigates all incidents where the police cause serious injuries. . or dead. Martino said he couldn’t blame the officers for not taking less lethal measures, as the man was between 20 and 40 meters from the officers.

“What was required was the man’s immediate incapacity for work, something only a firearm can do given the agents’ locations,” Martino wrote.

The man’s name has not been released by the independent watchdog, which typically does not release such information without permission from next of kin. It remains unclear why the man walked on Maberley Crescent toward William G. Davis Junior Public School in the early afternoon of May 26, 2022, with an air rifle hidden under a dark three-quarter jacket, according to video footage of houses on the street.

The officers who killed the man have also not been identified; the SIU typically only appoints officers in the event that they are charged with a crime.

The .22 caliber pellet gun held by the man fatally shot by police in May 2022 near William G. Davis Junior Public school.

  • The .22 caliber pellet gun held by the man fatally shot by police in May 2022 near William G. Davis Junior Public school.
  • Children and parents leave William G Davis Junior Public School in Scarborough on the day of the police shooting.

In the aftermath of the shooting, a witness expressed frustration that the Emergency Task Force, the Toronto Police Force’s tactical unit, had not immediately responded to the situation. Another witness officer replied, “Look what happened in Texas,” referring to the mass shooting at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas.

The case, which took place two days earlier, blames the slow police response that has cost the lives of children and teachers.

Neither officers who fired at the man sat down for an interview with the SIU and did not release their written notes; officers have the legal right to refuse to cooperate with SIU investigators.

According to an SIU timeline based on footage from police car cameras and body cameras, at 12:56 a.m., police received a 911 call from residents of Maberley Crescent who said they saw a man with a gun pointing toward the school. walk. Another witness reported seeing the man pacing near the school.

At 1:22 p.m., an officer saw the man emerge from the bushes at Baronial Cresent and East Avenue, near the school.

According to the SIU summary of the videos, the man was carrying what appeared to be a rifle in “the low ready position” pointed at the ground. An officer, who would later shoot the man, drove by and said, “put it down, put it down.”

As the officers approached, the man held onto the air cargo and appeared to take a step towards better aiming as he aimed it at an officer. An officer then yelled, “Drop it!”

An officer fired at the man with his pistol and the man doubled over, but still tried to hold the air rifle on his shoulder, according to the SIU summary of the videos. The officer fired another shot from his pistol while a second officer fired at the man three times with a C8 semi-automatic rifle. The man dropped his air rifle and fell to the ground. The officer who fired his pistol performed “rescue breaths” while other officers performed CPR.

“Thank God for this,” the officer with the C8 rifle said to another officer, who replied, “yes.”

Another officer warned that their body cameras were still on, and several times one of the officers who had shot covered his own body camera with one hand while typing on his cellphone with the other.

About 15 minutes after the shooting, the injured man was placed in an ambulance, but life-saving measures were discontinued shortly after and he was pronounced dead. His cause of death was determined to be gunshot wounds to the torso.

The SIU report includes a photo of the man’s air rifle, a .22 caliber pellet gun that closely resembles a shotgun.

The report was released just 120 days after the shooting — a stark contrast to the nearly two years it took to issue an issue on the police shooting of 18-month-old Jameson Shapiro.

In 2020, new SIU legislation came into effect requiring the SIU to complete investigations within 120 days or publicly notify that the investigation is continuing. After 120 days, the watchdog will “make a public statement every 30 days about the status of the investigation,” according to the legislation.

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