SIU Director’s Report - Case # 22-OFP-172


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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 37-year-old man (the “Complainant”)

The Investigation

Notification of the SIU

On July 4, 2022, at 4:54 p.m., the Ottawa Police Service (OPS) notified the SIU of a firearm discharge and a self-inflicted knife wound to the Complainant.

The OPS reported that on July 4, 2022, at 12:37 p.m., they received a 911 call from a neighbour regarding a domestic dispute at a building unit on Claremont Drive, Ottawa. Upon the arrival of an OPS officer, a woman exited the residence, but the Complainant refused and barricaded himself. Members of the OPS Tactical Unit (TU) and Crisis Negotiators Unit (CNU) attended, and the Complainant threatened to cut his throat should any effort be made to enter the apartment. Negotiations commenced and contact was made with the Complainant, who had previously cut the left side of his neck. TU officers breached the front door to enter the apartment. An Anti-riot Weapon ENfield (ARWEN) was discharged, and the projectile struck the Complainant’s right thigh. He was taken into custody and transported to The Ottawa Hospital – Civic Campus (OHCC). After receiving sutures to close the wound on his neck, the Complainant was discharged and held for a bail hearing.

The Team

Date and time team dispatched: 07/04/2022 at 5:25 p.m.

Date and time SIU arrived on scene: 07/05/2022 at 7:00 a.m.

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

Affected Person (aka “Complainant”):

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

The Complainant was interviewed on July 5, 2022.

Civilian Witnesses (CW)

CW #1 Interviewed
CW #2 Not interviewed
CW #3 Not interviewed

The civilian witness was interviewed on July 6, 2022.

Subject Official (SO)

SO Declined interview and to provide notes, as is the subject official’s legal right

Witness Officials (WO)

WO #1 Interviewed
WO #2 Interviewed
WO #3 Interviewed
WO #4 Not interviewed; notes received and reviewed
WO #5 Interviewed
WO #6 Not interviewed; notes received and reviewed
WO #7 Not interviewed; notes received and reviewed
WO #8 Not interviewed; notes received and reviewed

The witness officials were interviewed between July 6 and 13, 2022.


The Scene

On July 4, 2022, at 9:03 p.m., a SIU Forensic Investigator (FI) attended a building unit on Claremont Drive. He took photographs of the unit, which included a kitchen area with a large amount of pooled blood on the floor. This was where the interaction occurred between OPS TU officers and the Complainant. The SIU FI also examined and collected an ARWEN projectile and casing.

Video/Audio/Photographic Evidence [1]

Computer-aided Dispatch (CAD) and Communications Recordings

On July 4, 2022, at 8:44 p.m., the OPS provided the SIU with the CAD and 911 digital communications recordings for the event involving the Complainant on July 4, 2022. These records revealed CW #2 as she contacted the OPS via 911 on July 4, 2022, at 12:36 p.m., to report yelling, fighting and the violent movement of furniture within a building unit.

Uniform patrol officers arrived and attempted to have the Complainant’s partner and the Complainant exit the apartment, but they refused. Eventually, the Complainant’s partner exited. The Complainant threatened OPS officers that if they made attempts to enter, he would “slit his throat”.

CNU and TU officers attended, and dialogue ensued. As the situation deteriorated, the Complainant presented as agitated, and he advertised having armed himself with a firearm and a knife. Communication ended, and TU officers forced entry and an ARWEN was discharged.

The Complainant was taken into custody and, at 3:50 p.m., he was transported to the OHCC for medical assessment for injuries related to a self-inflicted cut to his neck and an ARWEN deployment.

At 12:47 a.m., July 5, 2022, the Complainant was discharged from hospital and transported to the OPS lock-up facility where he was held for a bail hearing.

Materials Obtained from Police Service

Upon request, the SIU reviewed the following materials from the OPS between July 5 and 15, 2022:
  • Digital copy of the 911 call as placed by CW #2;
  • CAD report;
  • Occurrence Report;
  • Investigative Action (IA) statements and notebook entries- WO #6;
  • IA and notebook entries – WO #3;
  • IA and notebook entries – WO #2;
  • IA and notebook entries – WO #1;
  • IA and notebook entries – WO #4;
  • IA and notebook entries – WO #5;
  • IA and notebook entries – WO #7;
  • IA and notebook entries – WO #6;
  • IA and notebook entries – WO #8;
  • List of all involved officers;
  • Policy - Hostage and Barricaded Persons;
  • Policy - Use of Force;
  • Witness Statement – CW #2;
  • Witness Statement – CW #3; and
  • Prosecution Summary.

Materials Obtained from Other Sources

The SIU obtained and reviewed the following records from the following other sources:
  • The Complainant’s medical records from OHCC; and
  • Canadian Police Information Centre query – the Complainant.

Incident Narrative

The evidence collected by the SIU, including an interview with the Complainant and an officer who witnessed the events in question (WO #2) gives rise to the following scenario. As was his legal right, the SO declined an interview with the SIU or to authorize the release of his notes.

At about 12:30 p.m. of July 4, 2022, the OPS received a 911 call from a person on Claremont Drive. The caller – CW #2 – reported a disturbance involving occupants of a residence. They had been yelling and fighting. OPS officers were dispatched to the address.

The persons quarreling in the building unit were a woman and her estranged partner – the Complainant. The Complainant was subject to a court order at the time that he not have any direct or indirect communication with the woman.

The first officer to arrive on scene – at about 12:50 p.m. - was WO #5. The officer knocked on the door of the unit and called-out to the occupants. Following a period of silence, the Complainant announced that he would slit his throat if officers entered the unit. WO #5 was eventually able to speak with the Complainant’s partner through a second-floor window. The Complainant’s partner was reluctant but eventually agreed to exit the apartment. The Complainant was not happy that his partner had left; he yelled from a second-floor window and was observed by officers on the ground to have a cut to the left side of his neck with dried blood around it.

At about 2:10 p.m., WO #8 was on scene as the lead negotiator. He spoke with the Complainant through a second-floor window in an effort to bring the standoff to a peaceful resolution, but to no avail. The Complainant continued to threaten that he would slit his throat if officers entered the apartment. He was seen with a razor blade in his possession. As the negotiations continued, the Complainant held a knife to his throat at one point and mentioned that he had a gun.

Tactical officers who had convened at the home, including the SO, entered the residence at about 3:30 p.m. These officers, a team of five, included an officer with a conducted energy weapon at the ready. The SO was assigned the use of an ARWEN should the weapon be necessary. The officers forced entry through the front door and observed the Complainant at the top of a set of stairs leading to the second-floor apartment. One of the officers, WO #2, directed the Complainant to come down. The Complainant refused and, instead, threw an object at the officers. The SO reacted by firing his ARWEN twice. The first round struck the Complainant’s right leg; the second round missed.

Unaffected by the ARWEN round impact, the Complainant ran into the apartment with the officers giving chase. Confronted by the officers, the Complainant cut the left side of his neck with a knife or razor, after which he was taken to the floor by the SO. As he lay struggling with the officers on the floor, they attempted to stem the flow of blood from his neck.

The Complainant was eventually handcuffed and seen by tactical paramedics at the scene. He was transported to hospital and treated for lacerations to the left side of the neck.

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

On July 4, 2022, the OPS contacted the SIU to report that one of their officers – the SO – had fired an ARWEN at a person – the Complainant – earlier that day. The SIU initiated an investigation naming the SO 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 use of the ARWEN.

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.

In violation of a court order, the Complainant was in the company of his partner. He was subject to arrest on that basis. By the time the tactical officers forced their way into his unit, the officers also had information about the Complainant’s deteriorating mental health and the risk of self-inflicted injury. That would have also given them authority to apprehend the Complainant in order to take him to hospital under section 17 of the Mental Health Act.

With respect to the force used by the SO, namely, the discharge of his ARWEN twice at the Complainant, I am satisfied that it constituted legally justified force in aid of his arrest. The Complainant had been seen to be in possession of a razor and/or knife; he had also mentioned a gun. It only made sense that the officers would seek to neutralize the potential threat the Complainant presented to himself and the officers by attempting to temporarily neutralize him from a distance so that he could be safely arrested. The use of the ARWEN had a reasonable prospect of accomplishing that without inflicting serious injury. That the ARWEN did not fully achieve its objective does not detract from the reasonableness of its use in the circumstances. [2]

In the result, there are no reasonable grounds to believe that the SO comported himself other than within the limits of the criminal law. As such, there is no basis for proceeding with charges in this case. The file is closed.

Date: November 1, 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) I would also add that there is no evidence to reasonably conclude that the decision to enter the home transgressed the limits of care prescribed by the criminal law. Negotiations had been given a chance to succeed and were going nowhere. Concurrently, as time passed, the concern that the Complainant would continue to self-harm grew, particularly when he mentioned that he wished to be left alone to die. On this record, it would appear the officers on scene made a reasonable decision when they decided to adopt a more proactive posture. [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.