SIU Concludes Investigation into Shooting Death in Mississauga
Case Number: 05-PCD-154
Other News Releases Related to Case 05-PCD-154
Mr. Maltar died on September 18, 2005, after a physical struggle with two OPP officers in the Port Credit detachment in Mississauga. Shots were fired from a police firearm and Mr. Maltar was fatally wounded.
Eight investigators examined the circumstances of Mr. Maltar's death. As part of the probe, forensic identification technicians processed the shooting scene and collected evidentiary items such as three spent shell cases, projectiles, police uniforms, and police equipment including two firearms, a pepper spray dispenser, and an extended ASP baton. Investigators also interviewed 12 police and civilian witnesses and reviewed all relevant police reports. Two officers were initially designated as subject officers; however, one of them was re-designated as a witness officer on March 23, 2006, as a result of forensic test results from the officer's firearm.
On September 18, 2005, an OPP officer stopped James Maltar on Highway 403 in Mississauga for driving a car with no licence plates. He was arrested at 10:33 p.m. and handcuffed for failing to identify himself and taken to the Port Credit detachment.
The officer parked his cruiser outside the side entrance of the station. He took Mr. Maltar through the side door and into the processing area where the handcuffs were removed.
Once inside the detachment, Mr. Maltar became very tense when he was told that he was going to be re-handcuffed. Mr. Maltar turned his back as if to comply, then started wrestling with the officer. At 10:52 p.m., a female officer inside the station heard an alarm call for an assist-officer emergency and rushed to the processing area. She came upon the subject officer wrestling with Mr. Maltar, who appeared to be trying to leave the station. She tried to assist by pulling Mr. Maltar's arm, while the other officer tried to hold Mr. Maltar and keep him from making it to the side door. Mr. Maltar was bigger and stronger than both officers and it appears that his level of agitation gave him even more strength. Pepper spray and baton blows by the female officer were ineffective.
The three had now moved into a holding area by the side door and the officers commanded Mr. Maltar to stop resisting as they unsuccessfully tried to control him in the relatively confined space. At some point, Mr. Maltar got a hold of the subject officer's sidearm. The female officer discharged her sidearm twice. One bullet went in through the back of Mr. Maltar's wrist and out through the base of his palm. The other grazed his upper arm. About the same time, Mr. Maltar shot himself in the head with the subject officer's firearm. The entire struggle lasted approximately 3 minutes.
A post mortem examination determined Mr. Maltar died from the close contact gunshot wound to the head. Mr. Maltar's gunshot wounds to his wrist and arm were flesh wounds that would not have resulted in life-threatening injuries.
Based on all the available evidence, Mr. Ramsay concluded that Mr. Maltar took his own life during a time of mental disturbance. There are no grounds to believe that any police officer committed a criminal offence in connection with the matter.
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
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