News Release

SIU Concludes Investigation into Newmarket Shooting

Case Number: 06-OFD-154

Other News Releases Related to Case 06-OFD-154

SIU Investigates Police Shooting in Newmarket

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TORONTO (3 October, 2006) --- James Cornish, the Director of the Special Investigations Unit (SIU), has concluded that a York Regional Police (YRP) officer was legally justified for fatally shooting a 27-year-old man.

The shooting occurred on September 7, 2006, outside of a home in Newmarket.

Eight SIU investigators probed the circumstances of the police shooting. The investigation determined that at about 4:40 p.m., the YRP received a call from a woman who reported that a man had broken into her home on Southwind Court. He told her the police were after him and ordered her out of her home.

Five officers responded to the call and arrived at the home. They drew their firearms and surrounded the home. One officer ran up the driveway and tried to open the front door; it was locked. He was about to walk away when a man, holding two large knives, opened the door. The officers yelled at the man to drop the knives. He shouted, "You will have to kill me," and slammed the door shut.

At this point, the officers knew that Emergency Response Unit officers were en route. They were going to move away from the home when the man opened the door again. He was still holding the two knives and appeared agitated. He told the officers that he had just tried to cut himself inside the home and had nothing to live for. He also said that if one of the officers did not kill him, he was going to kill an officer.

Upon hearing this, one officer re-holstered his gun and told the man the police were backing off. The police were in a semi circle around the man and started to walk backwards down a slight hill. Four officers still had their guns drawn and repeatedly ordered the man to drop the knives or go back into the home. Instead, the man cut across the lawn and raised the knives to the subject officer. The officer fired two shots at the man, who was about three to ten feet away. He was struck twice and fatally wounded.

Director Cornish concluded that the man deliberately advanced on the police believing that such an action would culminate in the officers shooting him. He stated, "The officers were confronted by the threat of lethal force; they ordered the man to drop his weapons and offered him options; they also tried to disengage and await the arrival of the ERU; the subject officer was then met with the threat of lethal force and met that threat with lethal force. I believe that the officer acted reasonably in resorting to this force."

The SIU is an independent government agency that investigates the conduct of officials (police officers as well as special constables with the Niagara Parks Commission and peace officers with the Legislative Protective Service) that may have resulted in death, serious injury, sexual assault and/or the discharge of a firearm at a person. All investigations are conducted by SIU investigators who are civilians. Under the Special Investigations Unit Act, the Director of the SIU must

  • consider whether the official has committed a criminal offence in connection with the incident under investigation
  • depending on the evidence, cause a criminal charge to be laid against the official where grounds exist for doing so, or close the file without any charges being laid
  • publicly report the results of its investigations
SIU Communications/Service des communications, UES
Telephone/No de téléphone: 416-622-2342 or/ou 1-800-787-8529 extension 2342