SIU Director’s Report - Case # 22-PFP-001


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Mandate of the SIU

The Special Investigations Unit is a civilian law enforcement agency that investigates incidents involving an official where there has been death, serious injury, the discharge of a firearm at a person or an allegation of sexual assault. Under the Special Investigations Unit Act, 2019 (SIU Act), officials are defined as police officers, special constables of the Niagara Parks Commission and peace officers under the Legislative Assembly Act. The SIU’s jurisdiction covers more than 50 municipal, regional and provincial police services across Ontario.

Under the SIU Act, the Director of the SIU must determine based on the evidence gathered in an investigation whether there are reasonable grounds to believe that a criminal offence was committed. If such grounds exist, the Director has the authority to lay a criminal charge against the official. Alternatively, in cases where no reasonable grounds exist, the Director cannot lay charges. Where no charges are laid, a report of the investigation is prepared and released publicly, except in the case of reports dealing with allegations of sexual assault, in which case the SIU Director may consult with the affected person and exercise a discretion to not publicly release the report having regard to the affected person’s privacy interests.

Information Restrictions

Special Investigations Unit Act, 2019

Pursuant to section 34, certain information may not be included in this report. This information may include, but is not limited to, the following: 
  • The name of, and any information identifying, a subject official, witness official, civilian witness or affected person. 
  • Information that may result in the identity of a person who reported that they were sexually assaulted being revealed in connection with the sexual assault. 
  • Information that, in the opinion of the SIU Director, could lead to a risk of serious harm to a person. 
  • Information that discloses investigative techniques or procedures.  
  • Information, the release of which is prohibited or restricted by law.  
  • Information in which a person’s privacy interest in not having the information published clearly outweighs the public interest in having the information published. 

Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act

Pursuant to section14 (i.e., law enforcement), certain information may not be included in this report. This information may include, but is not limited to, the following: 
  • Confidential investigative techniques and procedures used by law enforcement agencies; and 
  • Information that could reasonably be expected to interfere with a law enforcement matter or an investigation undertaken with a view to a law enforcement proceeding. 
Pursuant to section 21 (i.e., personal privacy), protected personal information is not included in this report. This information may include, but is not limited to, the following: 
  • The names of persons, including civilian witnesses, and subject and witness officials; 
  • Location information; 
  • Witness statements and evidence gathered in the course of the investigation provided to the SIU in confidence; and 
  • Other identifiers which are likely to reveal personal information about individuals involved in the investigation. 

Personal Health Information Protection Act, 2004

Pursuant to this legislation, any information related to the personal health of identifiable individuals is not included.

Other proceedings, processes, and investigations

Information may also have been excluded from this report because its release could undermine the integrity of other proceedings involving the same incident, such as criminal proceedings, coroner’s inquests, other public proceedings and/or other law enforcement investigations.

Mandate Engaged

Pursuant to section 15 of the SIU Act, the SIU may investigate the conduct of officials, be they police officers, special constables of the Niagara Parks Commission or peace officers under the Legislative Assembly Act, that may have resulted in death, serious injury, sexual assault or the discharge of a firearm at a person.

A person sustains a “serious injury” for purposes of the SIU’s jurisdiction if they: sustain an injury as a result of which they are admitted to hospital; suffer a fracture to the skull, or to a limb, rib or vertebra; suffer burns to a significant proportion of their body; lose any portion of their body; or, as a result of an injury, experience a loss of vision or hearing.

In addition, a “serious injury” means any other injury sustained by a person that is likely to interfere with the person’s health or comfort and is not transient or trifling in nature.

This report relates to the SIU’s investigation into the discharge of a firearm by the police at a 58-year-old man (the “Complainant”).

The Investigation

Notification of the SIU

On January 3, 2022, the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) notified the SIU of a firearm discharge by the police at a person – the Complainant.

The OPP reported that on January 3, 2022, at approximately 11:00 a.m. the Complainant was on the phone with his doctor and had expressed suicidal ideations. The doctor reported the incident to the OPP, and police officers responded to the Complainant’s residence in Stone Mills Township (Greater Napanee). The police officers set up a perimeter around the house and made contact with the Complainant. At one point, he exited the residence armed with a rifle and levelled it at the police officers. One of the OPP tactical police officers fired his Anti-riot Weapon Enfield (ARWEN) several times at the Complainant and he went down. A police dog then subdued the Complainant. He was apprehended under the Mental Health Act and transported to Kingston General Hospital. The Complainant had suffered some bruising from the ARWEN strikes and required some stitches from dog bites.

The Team

Date and time team dispatched: 01/04/2022 at 5:45 a.m.

Date and time SIU arrived on scene: 01/04/2022 at 6:00 a.m.

Number of SIU Investigators assigned: 3
Number of SIU Forensic Investigators assigned: 1

Affected Person (aka “Complainant”):

58-year-old male; interviewed; medical records obtained and reviewed

The Complainant was interviewed on January 5, 2022.

Civilian Witness (CW)

CW Interviewed

The civilian witness was interviewed on January 7, 2022.

Subject Official (SO)

SO Interviewed, and notes received and reviewed

The subject official was interviewed on January 15, 2022.

Witness Officials (WO)

WO #1 Interviewed
WO #2 Interviewed
WO #3 Interviewed
WO #4 Not interviewed, but notes received and reviewed
WO #5 Not interviewed, but notes received and reviewed
WO #6 Not interviewed, but notes received and reviewed
WO #7 Not interviewed, but notes received and reviewed
WO #8 Not interviewed, but notes received and reviewed
WO #9 Not interviewed, but notes received and reviewed
WO #10 Not interviewed, but notes received and reviewed
WO #11 Not interviewed, but notes received and reviewed

The witness officials were interviewed on January 7, 2022.


The Scene

This incident occurred at a residence in Stone Mills Township, Greater Napanee. The residence was in a rural area. The incident took place on a raised wooden deck of the residence.

An ARWEN projectile was located under the steps allowing access to the deck and a broken belt buckle was at the base of the steps (south side). A damaged cell phone was located on the north side of the steps. A chair was located to the north of the entrance door and, on top of the arms of the chair, was a Ranger .22 calibre rifle with the bolt action removed. The bolt action was located on top of the deck and north of the steps.

Taped to the window of the front door was a hand printed note: “DON’T KILL MY DOGS AS THEY ARE TRYING TO PROTECT ME [Complainant’s name].” The entry door to the residence was open. Located in the corner of the entrance vestibule was a Remington Air-Master 77 .177 calibre rifle. A second ARWEN projectile was located on the north side of the driveway and west of the deck. A third ARWEN projectile was located north of the driveway. Three ARWEN cartridge cases and one ARWEN cartridge were on the west side of the driveway.

The SO’s ARWEN 37-MM rifle was also examined.

Figure 1 – the SO’s ARWEN

Figure 2 – One of the ARWEN projectiles

Figure 3 – The Complainant’s Ranger .22 calibre rifle

Physical Evidence

  • 3 x ARWEN projectiles;
  • Damaged belt buckle;
  • Cell phone;
  • 3 x ARWEN AR-1 cartridge cases; and
  • ARWEN AR-1 cartridge case - misfire.

Video/Audio/Photographic Evidence [1]

OPP -Radio and 911 Communications

A woman called the Provincial Communications Centre (OPP Provincial Communications Centre ">PCC) at 10:58:53 a.m. on behalf of a physician, who was on the telephone with the Complainant at that time. She reported that the Complainant was threatening to kill himself, that he had a loaded 22-calibre firearm, that he would be dead by the time the cops got there, that he was going to blow his brains out, and that he had been drinking moonshine, rum and beer. The physician also reported hearing the Complainant rattling the gun on the table.

The communications recordings also included a variety of calls from the OPP Provincial Communications Centre ">PCC, Smiths Falls Communication Centre and the responding OPP units, involving the call-outs of the Tactical Response Unit (TRU) and Emergency Response Team (ERT), as well as the communications involving the tactical team at the scene. WO #11 was captured making several attempts to contact the Complainant by telephone; however, the calls went to voice mail or the Complainant simply hung-up the phone.

The communications confirmed deployment of the ARWEN and a police dog followed by Tactical Emergency Medical Support (TEMS) assessment and subsequent removal by Emergency Medical Services (EMS) to Lennox & Addington County General Hospital for treatment of bruising to the Complainant’s torso and a dog bite to his left thigh.

OPP -TRU Radio Communications

Starting at about 1:48:14 p.m., it was reported that the armoured vehicle was ready to move into the driveway of the residence. WO #3 and the SO were conducting reconnaissance on the right side of the armoured vehicle and moving into position on the driveway. Updated information was provided to the TRU team by WO #11, as received from a woman who was on the telephone with the Complainant. The Complainant had been drinking moonshine. He was drunk, and walking around with a long gun in his hand and acting strangely.

Starting at about 1:52:10 p.m., the loudhailer on the armoured vehicle was used to direct the Complainant. The Complainant stepped onto the porch, and an ARWEN was deployed. The Complainant dropped to his knees and dropped the long gun. The police dog had engaged. Commands were given: “Don’t move, don’t move.” The TRU team physically engaged the Complainant, who was reported in custody. It was reported that the Complainant was being tended to by a TEMS medic, and he was being walked out to the roadway. The TEMS medic confirmed a dog grip injury.

Materials Obtained from Police Service

Upon request, the SIU received the following materials from the OPP:
  • Event Details Report;
  • Occurrence Details and Reports;
  • Radio communications;
  • 911 call to the OPP;
  • Major Incident Command Policy;
  • Use of Force Policy;
  • Arrest and Detention Policy;
  • Training Records-the SO;
  • Notes-the SO;
  • Notes-WO #4;
  • Notes-WO #6;
  • Notes-WO #7;
  • Notes-WO #2;
  • Notes-WO #11;
  • Notes-WO #1;
  • Notes-WO #10;
  • Notes-WO #3;
  • Notes-WO #5;
  • Notes-WO #9; and
  • Notes-WO #8.

Materials Obtained from Other Sources

The SIU obtained and reviewed the following records from other sources:
  • The Complainant’s medical records from Lennox & Addington County General Hospital; and
  • Cell phone video/audio from the CW.

Incident Narrative

The following scenario emerges from the evidence collected by the SIU, which included interviews with the Complainant, the SO and other officers present at the time of the events in question.

OPP officers were dispatched to an address in the Township of Stone Mills following a 911 call to police from a doctor’s office. It was reported that an inebriated Complainant, in conversation over the telephone with his doctor that morning, had threatened to commit suicide with a rifle in his possession. The officers, a combination of uniform officers and specialized ERT officers, created a perimeter around the home and waited for the deployment of a TRU team to the scene.

The Complainant, depressed with his financial and personal situation, and intoxicated at the time, had decided to end his life. He was aware that the police had been contacted following his threats of suicide to his doctor. In the ensuing hours, the Complainant largely ignored police efforts to contact him, but he did carry on conversations with his girlfriend on the phone. She would go on to convey information to the police regarding the Complainant’s behaviour inside the residence, including the fact that he was in possession of a rifle and intoxicated by alcohol.

A TRU team arrived at the scene and took over its containment from the uniform and ERT officers. A subset of the team were assigned to try to safely effect the Complainant’s apprehension under the Mental Health Act. These officers, including the SO, who would carry an ARWEN at the ready, and a police dog handler – WO #2 – and his dog, would attempt to narrow the gap with the residence using an armoured vehicle as cover. The intention was to use the vehicle’s loudhailer to communicate with the Complainant and negotiate a peaceful resolution of the standoff.

At about 2:20 p.m., the SO and WO #2, together with WO #3 and WO #1, approached the house behind the armoured vehicle, nearing to within about 20 metres of the residence. With the use of the vehicle’s emergency lights and siren, the officers drew the Complainant’s attention from inside the home. He was encouraged to step out from the residence without a weapon and surrender.

The Complainant, a .22 calibre rifle in his right hand, stepped onto the raised deck of his home through the door. He refused to drop the firearm at the officers’ repeated direction, and raised it in their direction. Within moments of doing so, the Complainant was struck three times by ARWEN projectiles.

The projectiles were discharged by the SO. Fearing for his safety and the safety of his team members, the officer fired all five of the rounds loaded in his ARWEN. One of them misfired. And another missed the target.

The Complainant was felled by the ARWEN rounds. He dropped his rifle as he fell to the deck floor. Within seconds, he was physically engaged by the police dog latching onto his left leg.

The TRU officers approached the deck, removed the dog from the Complainant and the rifle from the area, and handcuffed him behind the back.

The Complainant was transported from the scene to hospital. He had suffered a number of welts from the ARWEN round impacts, and was treated with stitches for his dog bite wounds.

Relevant Legislation

Section 25(1), Criminal Code -- Protection of persons acting under authority

25 (1) Every one who is required or authorized by law to do anything in the administration or enforcement of the law
(a) as a private person,
(b) as a peace officer or public officer,
(c) in aid of a peace officer or public officer, or
(d) by virtue of his office,
is, if he acts on reasonable grounds, justified in doing what he is required or authorized to do and in using as much force as is necessary for that purpose.

Section 17, Mental Health Act -- Action by police officer

17 Where a police officer has reasonable and probable grounds to believe that a person is acting or has acted in a disorderly manner and has reasonable cause to believe that the person,
(a) has threatened or attempted or is threatening or attempting to cause bodily harm to himself or herself;
(b) has behaved or is behaving violently towards another person or has caused or is causing another person to fear bodily harm from him or her; or
(c) has shown or is showing a lack of competence to care for himself or herself,
and in addition the police officer is of the opinion that the person is apparently suffering from mental disorder of a nature or quality that likely will result in,
(d) serious bodily harm to the person;
(e) serious bodily harm to another person; or
(f) serious physical impairment of the person,
and that it would be dangerous to proceed under section 16, the police officer may take the person in custody to an appropriate place for examination by a physician.

Analysis and Director's Decision

The Complainant was struck with ARWEN rounds in an encounter with OPP officers in the Township of Stone Mills, Ontario, on January 3, 2022. The officer who fired the ARWEN – the SO – was identified as the subject official in the ensuing SIU investigation. The investigation is now concluded. On my assessment of the evidence, there are no reasonable grounds to believe that the SO committed a criminal offence in connection with the shooting.

Pursuant to section 25(1) of the Criminal Code, police officers are immune from criminal liability for force used in the course of their duties provided such force was reasonably necessary in the execution of an act that they were required or authorized to do by law.

Given what they came to learn of the 911 call made by the Complainant’s doctor, and information provided by his girlfriend, regarding his mental state, suicidal ideations, and access to a firearm, I am satisfied that the Complainant was subject to lawful arrest under section 17 of the Mental Health Act.

I am also satisfied that the ARWEN rounds fired by the SO constituted legally justified force in aid of the Complainant’s arrest. In what appears to have been a deliberate attempt to provoke the officers into a lethal confrontation, the Complainant emerged from inside his home with a .22 calibre rifle – a weapon clearly capable of inflicting grievous bodily harm and death. When he did so, and then raised it in the direction of the officers, the Complainant gave them every reason to believe that their lives were in immediate danger. In the circumstances, it is apparent that the SO’s use of the ARWEN, a less lethal firearm, was a tactic reasonably available to the officer in the moment as it carried the prospect of quickly neutralizing the Complainant without inflicting serious injury. And, in fact, that is precisely what occurred. Three of the ARWEN discharges met their mark and temporarily incapacitated the Complainant, freeing the weapon from his hold and dropping the Complainant to the ground. Thereafter, with the use of a police dog, the officers were able to safely approach the Complainant and take him into custody. [2]

In the result, as I am satisfied that the SO comported himself reasonably throughout his engagement with the Complainant, there is no basis for proceeding with criminal charges against the officer.

Date: May 3, 2022

Electronically approved by

Joseph Martino
Special Investigations Unit


  • 1) The following records contain sensitive personal information and are not being released pursuant to section 34(2) of the Special Investigations Unit Act, 2019. The material portions of the records are summarized below. [Back to text]
  • 2) Though not the focus of the investigation, WO #2’s use of the dog to latch onto the Complainant after the shooting would also appear a reasonable and legally justified use of force. Despite being floored by the ARWEN rounds, the rifle remained within reach of the Complainant and constituted a continuing danger until the Complainant was secured. In the circumstances, the dog’s deployment was reasonably intended to distract and control the Complainant pending his restraint in handcuffs. Again, that appears to have been what happened, without undue injury coming to the Complainant. [Back to text]


The signed English original report is authoritative, and any discrepancy between that report and the French and English online versions should be resolved in favour of the original English report.