SIU Director’s Report - Case # 22-OFI-027


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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 serious injuries a 34-year-old man (the “Complainant”) suffered.

The Investigation

Notification of the SIU

On January 30, 2022, at 5:47 a.m., the North Bay Police Service (NBPS) contacted the SIU and reported a firearm-related injury to the 34-year-old Complainant.

According to NBPS, on January 30, 2022, at 4:42 a.m., NBPS police officers stopped the Complainant with two other men in front of a residence on Fraser Street. The Complainant ran at the Subject Official (SO) with a knife. The SO discharged his firearm striking the Complainant. The Complainant ran from the scene chased by police officers. He dropped the knife at 214 Chippewa Street West and was arrested at 271 Chippewa Street West.

The Complainant was taken to the North Bay Regional Health Centre (NBRHC) and had surgery. He had a fractured left elbow and upper and lower arm wounds.

The Team

Date and time team dispatched: 01/30/2022 at 6:43 a.m.

Date and time SIU arrived on scene: 01/30/2022 at 11:15 a.m.

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

Affected Person (aka “Complainant”):

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

The Complainant was interviewed on January 30, 2022.

Civilian Witnesses (CW)

CW #1 Interviewed
CW #2 Interviewed
CW #3 Not interviewed (unable to locate)

The civilian witnesses were interviewed on January 30, 2022.

Subject Official

SO Interviewed, and notes received and reviewed

The subject official was interviewed on February 4, 2022.

Witness Officials (WO)

WO #1 Interviewed
WO #2 Interviewed
WO #3 Interviewed
WO #4 Notes reviewed, interview deemed not necessary

The witness officials were interviewed between January 30, 2022, and February 4, 2022.

Service Employee Witnesses (SEW)

SEW #1 Notes reviewed, interview deemed not necessary
SEW #2 Notes reviewed, interview deemed not necessary
SEW #3 Notes reviewed, interview deemed not necessary


The Scene

The scene was attended by the SIU on January 30, 2022, and its examination began at 11:15 a.m.

The SO’s shot was fired in front of a residence on Fraser Street. The SIU forensic investigator located a spent cartridge [1] on Fraser Street and the knife the police officers indicated the Complainant discarded while they chased him on Chippewa Street West.

The police vehicle operated by the SO was parked on Fraser Street behind the police vehicle operated by WO #1.

The knife and the spent cartridge were collected from the scene, as were two swabs of material presumed to be blood - one swab from near 251 Chippewa Street West, the other from near 271 Chippewa Street West.

Figure 1 – Knife discarded by the Complainant

Physical Evidence

In addition to the spent cartridge, knife, [2] and blood swabs, the following evidence was collected:
  • The Complainant’s clothing;
  • A bullet, surgically removed from the Complainant;
  • The SO’s Glock 22 sidearm, seated magazine and ammunition;
  • The SO’s uniform trousers and long underpants; and
  • A gunshot residue kit tested upon the SO.
Ascertained during the SO’s interview, the loading practice he employed consisted of seating a fully loaded 15-round magazine into his firearm, and chambering a round from that magazine into the chamber by manipulating the firearm’s action. He next removed the magazine and added one “top-up” round, bringing it back to its fully loaded 15-round maximum capacity.

Among the items examined and photographed, but not collected, included the two additional magazines the SO carried on his duty belt. Each of those were loaded to their 15-round capacity.

Figure 2 – The SO’s firearm

Forensic Evidence

On January 30, 2022, the SIU submitted the knife for DNA analysis, the SO’s firearm and the spent cartridge case (for comparison against one another), the SO’s (emptied) magazine, and the bullet surgically extracted from the Complainant to the Centre of Forensic Sciences (CFS). All items were approved for submission.

On April 6, 2022, the Unit received CFS Biology Report #1. The report established that the DNA present on the tip of the knife, in the form of grease-like staining, was greater than one trillion times more likely to be that of the SO than anyone else.

As of the submission of this report, the CFS ballistics results have not been received.

Video/Audio/Photographic Evidence [3]

Police Communications Recordings

The recordings were requested on January 31, 2022, and received by the SIU on February 7, 2022. The recordings included CW #1’s January 30, 2022, 911 call reporting that CW #2 had banged on her door because someone had kicked his door down, spat in her face, and returned to his home. She requested police assistance. The dispatcher broadcast that call.

A second 911 call recorded CW #2’s report that he needed a police officer at his house and would wait in his house until they arrived. The communication dispatcher broadcast that call.

WO #2 made a broadcast that he had, “One in custody.” [4]

WO #1 asked the dispatcher to run a check on CW #3. He was told there were three warrants for her arrest, and they would confirm those warrants. WO #1 broadcast he would look for CW #3 and the SO replied he could assist with that. WO #1 asked the SO to attend CW #1’s residence, where he was almost finished taking a statement, and they could go to find CW #3 afterwards.

The communications operator confirmed, and listed CW #3’s warrants. The SO broadcast he would stay outside CW #1’s house to wait for WO #1, and WO #1 said he would be five minutes.

The SO said he was going to conduct a door knock to find CW #3 and asked what she looked like. WO #1 asked the SO to stand-by as he would be two minutes, and the SO agreed.

The SO’s next broadcast indicated he was, “Off with a male,” before WO #1 made a broadcast that shots were fired, the SO had been attacked with a knife, and that he was pursuing the suspect [now known to be the Complainant] on Chippewa Street West. A broadcast was made that the Complainant had dropped the knife. The dispatcher alerted all units to respond to that call and told WO #1 back-up was on the way.

A telephone call recorded the dispatcher asking for paramedics to attend to the call. Another recorded CW #1’s call to report she was in her house, had opened the front door, and seen a man [now known to be the Complainant] push the SO down to the ground. She heard a bang when the SO fired at the Complainant. The dispatcher told CW #1 there were police officers tending to the matter and one would check on her.

A broadcast was made to say the Complainant was in custody at 271 Chippewa Street West, and an ambulance was required. Another informed the dispatcher a tourniquet had been applied to the Complainant’s arm to treat a gunshot wound.

A telephone call recorded the dispatcher’s call to a man to inform him that WO #1 had reported shots fired and the SO had been attacked with a knife. That man asked which police officers were on scene, and the dispatcher said, “Everyone but you.”

An officer broadcast he was in the ambulance with the Complainant, and another police officer broadcast the knife was found in front of 214 Chippewa Street West.

Materials Obtained from Police Service

Upon request, the SIU received the following materials from NBPS between January 31, 2022, and February 4, 2022:
  • Communication recordings;
  • Scene and injury photographs;
  • Ontario Provincial Police drone photographs;
  • Arrest Report;
  • Computer-aided Dispatch Event Details;
  • Communications Summary;
  • Standard Operating Procedure - Use of Force;
  • Standard Operating Procedure - Arrest;
  • Training Record – Use of Force – the SO;
  • Notes – WO #1;
  • Notes – SEW #2;
  • Notes – WO #3;
  • Notes – WO #4;
  • Notes – the SO;
  • Notes – WO #2;
  • Notes – SEW #3; and
  • Notes – SEW #1.

Materials Obtained from Other Sources

The SIU obtained and reviewed the following records from other sources:
  • Medical Records – NBRHC; and
  • Medical Records – Nipissing District Paramedic Services.

Incident Narrative

The material events in question are clear on the evidence collected by the SIU, including interviews with the Complainant and the SO, and may briefly be summarized.

In the early morning of January 30, 2022, the SO was alone in his police cruiser stopped at a residence on Fraser Street. His cruiser was in front of the house, facing east along the north curb of the road. The officer was waiting for another officer, WO #1, who was inside the residence taking a statement from CW #1. CW #1 had earlier that morning called police to report that she had been assaulted by her next-door neighbour – CW #2. WO #1’s cruiser was parked just in front of the SO’s cruiser, also facing east.

At about 4:40 a.m., the SO observed a man – the Complainant – exit the house adjacent to, and east of, CW #1’s home. The Complainant approached WO #1’s cruiser, looked inside and tried to open the doors. The SO exited his cruiser to question what the Complainant was doing.

The Complainant was of unsound mind at the time. He appears to have been labouring under the illusion that his girlfriend had been in one of the officers’ cruisers for several hours. Confronted by the SO, the Complainant picked up a knife from the front hood/bumper area of WO #1’s cruiser, where he had rested it upon going outside to inspect the vehicle, and advanced on the officer.

The SO, on the roadway at this time south of the cruisers, drew his firearm and started to retreat backwards, ordering the Complainant to drop the knife as he did so. The Complainant, the knife raised in his right hand and pointed downwards, continued to close the distance on the officer. As he neared to within a metre or two of the SO, the officer slipped on the snowy roadway onto his back. The Complainant swung the knife at the SO as the officer kicked out his left leg to keep him at bay. Immediately thereafter, the SO fired his weapon.

Both persons were injured by this point. The SO had sustained a puncture wound to the left leg. The Complainant had been struck in the left arm by a bullet.

Following the firearm discharge, the Complainant turned and ran eastward on Fraser Street. He was pursued on foot by the SO and WO #1, the latter having exited the residence and witnessed the shooting. The Complainant turned left onto Chippewa Street West and continued his flight before falling in the vicinity of 271 Chippewa Street West, about 120 metres north of Fraser Street. He had discarded the knife while fleeing northward. The officers approached the Complainant and secured him in handcuffs.

The Complainant was taken from the scene to hospital in ambulance. He was diagnosed with a gunshot wound of the left arm resulting in a fracture of the humerus.

Relevant Legislation

Section 34, Criminal Code -- Defence of person - Use or threat of force

34 (1) A person is not guilty of an offence if
(a) They believe on reasonable grounds that force is being used against them or another person or that a threat of force is being made against them or another person; 
(b) The act that constitutes the offence is committed for the purpose of defending or protecting themselves or the other person from that use or threat of force; and
(c) The act committed is reasonable in the circumstances.
(2) In determining whether the act committed is reasonable in the circumstances, the court shall consider the relevant circumstances of the person, the other parties and the act, including, but not limited to, the following factors:
(a) the nature of the force or threat;
(b) the extent to which the use of force was imminent and whether there were other means available to respond to the potential use of force;
(c) the person’s role in the incident;
(d) whether any party to the incident used or threatened to use a weapon; 
(e) the size, age, gender and physical capabilities of the parties to the incident;
(f) the nature, duration and history of any relationship between the parties to the incident, including any prior use or threat of force and the nature of that force or threat;
(f.1) any history of interaction or communication between the parties to the incident;
(g) the nature and proportionality of the person’s response to the use or threat of force; and 
(h) whether the act committed was in response to a use or threat of force that the person knew was lawful.

Analysis and Director's Decision

On January 30, 2022, the Complainant was shot and injured by the SO of the NBPS. The SIU was quickly notified of the incident and initiated an investigation. The SO was identified as the subject official. 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 34 of the Criminal Code, force that is used to defend oneself against a reasonably apprehended attack, actual or threatened, is legally justified provided the force in question was reasonable. The reasonableness of the force is to be assessed against the circumstances as they prevailed at the time, including such factors as the nature of the force or threat; the extent to which the use of force was imminent and whether there were other means available to respond to the potential use of force; whether any party to the incident used or threatened to use a weapon; and, the nature and proportionality of the person’s response to the use or threat of force. The SO’s resort to his firearm was clearly captured by the justification set out in section 34.

The SO was lawfully placed at the time of the shooting. He was in his cruiser on a public roadway waiting for a colleague to conclude an interview with the victim of an assault. Having observed the Complainant attempting to enter WO #1’s cruiser, the officer rightfully exited his cruiser to investigate what was happening.

There is nothing in the evidence to cast doubt on the SO’s evidence that he fired his weapon at the Complainant fearing for his life. For unknown reasons, the Complainant quickly armed himself with a knife when confronted by the SO and threatened to stab him. In fact, he did, causing a minor puncture wound to the officer’s left leg just before the shooting.

Lastly, the evidence establishes that the force used by the SO was a reasonable response to a reasonably apprehended attack by the Complainant. The knife – with a blade length of about 21 centimetres – was clearly capable of inflicting grievous bodily harm or death. And the Complainant had given the SO every reason to believe he was prepared to do just that. Though events unfolded quickly, the officer had ordered the Complainant to drop the knife as he backtracked and only fired his weapon after he had fallen, was unable to retreat any further, and was faced with a potentially lethal attack. Indeed, it is difficult to imagine what else the SO could have done to preserve himself in the circumstances. On this record, I am satisfied that the SO acted reasonably when he decided to meet a lethal threat with a resort to lethal force of his own.

For the foregoing reasons, there are no reasonable grounds to believe that the SO comported himself unlawfully when he shot and wounded the Complainant. Accordingly, there is no basis for proceeding with criminal charges against the officer. The file is closed.

Date: May 30, 2022

Electronically approved by

Joseph Martino
Special Investigations Unit


  • 1) Presumed to be ejected from the SO’s firearm. [Back to text]
  • 2) Overall length - 34 centimetres. Blade length - 20.5 centimetres. [Back to text]
  • 3) 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]
  • 4) It is now known he took CW #2 into custody. [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.