SIU Director’s Report - Case # 22-PFP-173


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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 19-year-old man (the “Complainant”).

The Investigation

Notification of the SIU

On July 5, 2022, at 3:54 a.m., the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) contacted the SIU with the following information.

On July 5, 2022, at approximately 1:00 a.m., members of the OPP were requested to attend a residence located on James Street in Omemee for a reported break and enter. When police responded to the residence, they observed an occupant with apparent stab wounds. Three men were seen running from the residence. There had been a previous stabbing at the residence the Saturday before. As a result, the OPP requested its Level One containment team to respond to the area. A search of the area located one of the involved men, the Complainant, in the rear yard of a residence on Victoria Street. The Complainant did not comply with police commands. As a result, an ARWEN (Anti-riot Weapon ENfield) was deployed. The Complainant was taken into custody without injury and transported to the OPP Kawartha Lakes Detachment.

The Team

Date and time team dispatched: 07/05/2022 at 4:47 a.m.

Date and time SIU arrived on scene: 07/05/2022 at 10:10 a.m.

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

Affected Person (aka “Complainant”):

19-year-old male; interviewed

The Complainant was interviewed on July 5, 2022.

Subject Official (SO)

SO Interviewed; notes received and reviewed

The subject official was interviewed on July 27, 2022.

Witness Officials (WO)

WO #1 Interviewed
WO #2 Interviewed
WO #3 Interviewed

The witness officials were interviewed on July 14, 2022.


The Scene

The incident occurred on Victoria Street East, Omemee, within the confines of the backyard of a residence.

Physical Evidence

Four spent ARWEN cartridges and four projectiles were collected at the scene.

Figure 1 – ARWEN projectile

Figure 1 – ARWEN projectile

Figure 2 – ARWEN cartridge

Figure 2 – ARWEN cartridge

Figure 3 – The ARWEN

Figure 3 – The ARWEN

Video/Audio/Photographic Evidence [1]

911 Communications

The 911 call commenced at 12:47:38 a.m. The caller reported a ‘break and enter’, the sound of items being smashed, and a stabbing. Three men had carried items from an address on James Street, and walked towards a nearby church.

Radio Communications

Members of the OPP uniform patrol arrived on scene at 1:17:14 a.m., followed by six members of the Emergency Response Team (ERT). A machete and an air pistol were located by uniformed police officers near the church grounds, located at 21 Sturgeon Street North.

A description was provided of one of the men involved in the break and enter, the Complainant. A second man was identified by name, and a third man was also mentioned.

The SO was identified as a police officer that deployed an ARWEN, firing four projectiles, three of which were confirmed to have struck the Complainant in the backyard of a residence on Victoria Street. The Complainant did not receive any injuries and did not require any medical attention.

Materials Obtained from Police Service

Upon request, the SIU received the following materials from the OPP between July 6, 2022, and August 31, 2022:
  • Arrest Report;
  • Computer-assisted Dispatch History;
  • General Report;
  • Communications recordings;
  • Complainant - Previous Involvements;
  • Use of Force Report;
  • Notes - WO #2;
  • Notes - WO #3;
  • Notes - SO;
  • Notes - WO #1; and
  • SO - ARWEN Training Record.

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 hours of July 5, 2022, OPP officers were dispatched to a residence on James Street North, Omemee, following a call to police about a stabbing and break and enter at the address. Three men had left the apartment with property and were seen travelling north towards a church. Officers arriving on scene had located a machete and an air gun on the grounds of the church, located at 21 Sturgeon Street North.

As the call involved a violent offence and the use of weapons, members of the OPP ERT were also dispatched, including the SO. These officers arrived on scene after 2:00 a.m. and started to search the area for the suspects. In so doing, additional weapons were located.

At about 2:30 a.m., the SO was searching in the area of Sturgeon Street North and Victoria Street East with his partner, WO #2, when they observed two or three males together. The men did not stop at the direction of the officers and fled eastward on Victoria Street East. The SO pursued one of them – the Complainant – into the backyard of a residence on Victoria Street East.

At the sight of the officers, the Complainant fled seeking to escape police apprehension. He ran towards the rear of the property and around the back of the house looking to make his way back onto the roadway as an officer – the SO – gave chase. On or around a part of the fence demarcating the front driveway from the rear yard, the Complainant was struck twice by ARWEN rounds.

The SO was armed with an ARWEN at the ready and had fired it three times at the Complainant as he fled in the backyard. Two of the shots hit the Complainant – one in the back, the other in a thigh. The third discharge missed. Shortly after this volley of shots, the Complainant turned to face the officer, advanced a short distance, and was shot in the abdomen by another ARWEN round fired by the SO.

Following the fourth ARWEN discharge, the Complainant told the officer that he was “done”, after which he was taken into custody without further incident. He had not suffered any serious injuries.

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.

Analysis and Director's Decision

The Complainant was the subject of multiple ARWEN discharges by an OPP officer on July 5, 2022. The officer – 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 use of his ARWEN against the Complainant.

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.

The SO was in the execution of his lawful duties when he chased after the Complainant to take him into custody. The Complainant had been found in the company of one or two other males (loosely fitting the description of the three suspects) close to the scene of the crime and the location where weapons had been found, and had run from police – a constellation of circumstances giving rise to a reasonable suspicion that he was implicated in the events at the residence on James Street North and, therefore, subject to investigative detention: R v Mann, [2004] 3 SCR 59.

I am also satisfied that the force used by the SO in aid of the detention, namely, the use of his ARWEN, was legally justified. The Complainant had given no intention of surrendering to police at the same time as there was a public safety imperative to detaining him as soon as possible. He was reportedly involved in a serious offence of physical violence in which weapons had been used. As attested by the officer in his SIU interview, the SO was right to be concerned that the Complainant was still armed (in fact, the Complainant had a knife in one of his pockets). In the circumstances, it would appear reasonable that the officer would seek to stop the Complainant from a distance with the use of his ARWEN. Indeed, the first three shots, of which two connected, did just that – the Complainant stopped. I am also satisfied that the SO was within his rights as he fired the ARWEN a fourth time when the Complainant then advanced towards him. Again, the officer had reason to believe that the Complainant was still armed and represented a threat. The Complainant surrendered at that point and was taken into custody without further use of force.

In the result, as I am unable to reasonably conclude that the SO comported himself other than lawfully in his dealings with the Complainant, there is no basis for proceeding with criminal charges in this case. The file is closed.

Date: November 2, 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]


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.