News Release

SIU Concludes Investigation into Shooting Death in Scarborough

Case Number: 06-TFD-101

TORONTO (3 August, 2006) --- The Deputy Director of the Special Investigations Unit (SIU), James Ramsay, has concluded that a Toronto Police Service (TPS) officer was legally justified in the fatal shooting of a 15-year-old Scarborough youth.

On June 20, 2006, at about 4:55 a.m., two TPS officers in a marked cruiser were traveling west on Lawrence Avenue. Just after going through the intersection at Scarborough Golf Club Road, one of the officers saw a Dodge Caravan traveling north along that road. The officer driving made a U-turn and followed the van as it turned into the rear driveway of 3700 Lawrence Avenue East. A licence plate check revealed the van was stolen.

The driver of the van started to back into a parking space when he seemed to notice the cruiser, which had stopped a short distance from the van. The young man stopped backing up and drove forward to the north side of a roundabout, entering in a counterclockwise direction. The officers approached from the south side, in a clockwise direction

The witness officer got out of the police cruiser, drew her firearm and her flashlight, and approached the van. She shouted at the driver not to move and walked around an island, which was in the middle of the roundabout, towards the van. The driver reversed and turned the van so that it was facing the officer. She shone her flashlight at the driver and yelled, "Police. Don't move." By this point, the subject officer had exited the cruiser and was also yelling commands.

The van lurched forward and accelerated, driving toward the witness officer. She started to retreat backwards to get out of the van's way, with her firearm still pointed at the driver of the van. The subject officer then fired six rounds through the passenger side of the van, striking the driver. The van went past the witness officer and came to a stop when it hit a tree.

Both officers approached the van. The motor was revving and smoke was coming from under the hood. The witness officer smashed the driver's window with her flashlight and the subject officer smashed the passenger window with his ASP baton. A fire had started under the van and the officers pulled the young man out and administered aid until the paramedics arrived.

A post mortem examination determined the young man died of injuries caused by a shot to the chest.

Based on the totality of all the available evidence, the Deputy Director determined the shooting was legally justified because the subject officer had to discharge his firearm to prevent his partner from being deliberately run down.

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