Ontario’s police watchdog has cleared two Toronto police officers involved in the shooting of a man at a downtown apartment earlier this year.
The Special Investigations Unit (SIU) says officers were called several times over three days in mid-April for a man with schizophrenia who had missed appointments for his medication.
The SIU said the morning of April 13, two officers — who were designated as witnesses — went to an apartment on Shuter Street to apprehend the man after a warrant was issued because he had reportedly failed to appear at a court date. They were advised that he had been violent in the past.
A “Form 47” was also issued by the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health “authorizing the return of the complainant to the facility for being in violation of a community treatment order,” the SIU said.
Man taken to hospital after police-involved shooting in downtown Toronto, SIU investigating
The two officers knocked on the door and the man opened it, but quickly slammed it shut, the SIU said. The two officers called out to the man, but to no avail. They then sought help from senior officers on how to proceed.
There were discussions on possibly deploying a crisis intervention team, but it wouldn’t have been available until later that morning, the report said.
Two other officers — designated as subject officials — later arrived. The SIU said one of the officers kicked at the door to get the man’s attention, who then opened it while holding a large knife.
‘Jeopardy!’ boss Mike Richards, Mayim Bialik to replace Trebek as hosts
Canada getting vaccine passport for international travel
The SIU said a struggle ensued, which resulted in a subject officer being pulled into the apartment by the man who then shut the door after two attempts by one of the witness officials to discharge a conducted energy weapon.
Ontario police watchdog clears Guelph officer of wrongdoing in Brantford standoff
A subject officer outside of the apartment then fired his gun twice at the door, the SIU said. The officer inside the apartment alone with the man also fired her gun twice at him, the report said. The man was shot three times.
Some of the responding officers provided first aid to the man. Paramedics soon arrived and he was taken to hospital.
SIU director Joseph Martino wrote in his decision that he believes the officers’ responses were reasonable given the circumstances.
“Finding herself alone in a locked apartment with an armed and erratic complainant, it would appear that the officer was entitled to meet a lethal threat with lethal force of her own,” he wrote regarding the officer inside the apartment.
Martino said the officer’s conduct who shot at the door from outside the apartment was “risky,” but added, “I am satisfied it was a calculated risk.”
The full SIU report can be found here.
— With files from The Canadian Press
SIU investigate fatal collision on County Road 28 south of Peterborough
© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.