News Release

SIU Concludes Investigation into Death in Sprucedale

Case Number: 06-PCD-046

Other News Releases Related to Case 06-PCD-046

SIU Investigates Death in Sprucedale

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TORONTO (30 March, 2006) --- James Cornish, the Director of the Special Investigations Unit (SIU), has determined that an Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) officer did not commit any type of criminal offence in relation to the death of Mark Davis.

On March 25, 2006, OPP officers found Mr. Davis in his car bleeding from a head wound. He was taken to hospital where he died the following morning.

After being notified by the OPP, four SIU investigators were sent to Sprucedale to conduct an investigation into the nature and extent of police involvement in all the events surrounding Mr. Davis' death. During the course of the investigation, forensic identification technicians photographed, videotaped and measured the scene at 4th Avenue and Stisted Road in Sprucedale. The car Mr. Davis was in was transported to the OPP forensic vehicle examination facilities and examined by an SIU technician. SIU investigators examined evidentiary items, including a pistol found on Mr. Davis' lap, and the firearm carried by the first officer to approach Mr. Davis' car.

The SIU investigation revealed that on March 25, 2006, the York Regional Police began an investigation into an incident involving a shooting that occurred in East Gwillembury earlier that day. The suspect had fled and OPP officers from the detachment in Burk's Falls were notified that the suspect in the shooting may be in the Sprucedale area. As a result, the OPP officers took up positions at several locations to watch for Mr. Davis.

At about 7:20 p.m., two OPP officers identified a car with matching plates to that of Mr. Davis' car. The car was stopped but the engine was roaring. One officer cautiously approached the driver side of the car. The officer yelled, through a closed window, for Mr. Davis to raise his hands but realized that he was slumped over the steering wheel. The officer opened the door and saw Mr. Davis bleeding from a head wound. The police made efforts to assist Mr. Davis while awaiting the arrival of an ambulance.

A post mortem examination determined Mr. Davis died from a single gunshot wound to his head.

Director Cornish concluded, "The evidence gathered in the course of this investigation, including all the forensic evidence, makes it patently obvious that no officer fired any shots in this incident. It is also clear no officer did anything that caused or contributed to Mr. Davis' death. Indeed the officers did all that they could in this situation to assist a mortally wounded Mr. Davis."

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