SIU Director’s Report - Case # 23-PFP-181


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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 section 14 (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 39-year-old man (the “Complainant”).

The Investigation

Notification of the SIU

On May 12, 2023, at 6:39 p.m., the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) contacted the SIU with the following information.

Earlier on May 12, 2023, the OPP were executing a Criminal Code search warrant on a house located in Bourget on Laval Street, in relation to an incident the day before in which an on-duty OPP officer had been shot, when the forensic team examining the interior of the residence located three spent 9 mm rounds. Upon checking the use of force equipment of one of the officers who had been injured in the incident, it was determined that there were three rounds missing from the magazine in his pistol. The injured officer was in hospital at the time of notification. Body-worn camera (BWC) footage was available and had been secured for the SIU.

The Team

Date and time team dispatched: 05/12/2023 at 8:54 p.m.

Date and time SIU arrived on scene: 05/13/2023 at 5:10 p.m.

Number of SIU Investigators assigned: 4
Number of SIU Forensic Investigators assigned: 1

Affected Person (aka “Complainant”):

Declined an interview

Civilian Witnesses (CW) [1]

CW #1 Not interviewed
CW #2 Not interviewed

Subject Official (SO)

SO Declined interview, as is the subject official’s legal right; notes were not completed by the officer due to medical condition

Witness Officials (WO) [2]

WO #1 Not interviewed; BWC footage reviewed, and interview deemed not necessary
WO #2 Not interviewed; notes reviewed, and interview deemed not necessary
WO #3 Not interviewed; notes reviewed, and interview deemed not necessary
WO #4 Not interviewed; notes reviewed, and interview deemed not necessary


The Scene

The events in question transpired in and around a home located on Laval Street, Bourget.

On May 13, 2023, a SIU forensic investigator attended the address on Laval Street, Bourget. He met with an OPP official and was briefed regarding the events in question before being escorted into the home.

Inside the main entrance to the house was a mudroom. The SIU forensic investigator observed a rifle situated on the floor of the mudroom.

There was a blood-covered ballistic vest on the floor of the mudroom. The name on the vest was that of Officer #1 and ‘POLICE’ was printed in yellow on the front.

Once inside the mudroom, there was a step up to the right and an opening without a door that led into a large living room to the right and a kitchen to the left. A short distance straight ahead and slightly to the right was a doorway that led to a bedroom. Large pools of blood were observed on the floor, as well as blood spatter on the walls. Numerous bullet holes were evident on the walls and bedroom door frame.

There were numerous evidence cones at the scene. In particular, cones were placed at three locations that revealed WIN 9mm Luger cartridge casings in the living room, kitchen, and bedroom.

Inside the bedroom, there were numerous rifle cartridge casings on the floor, as well as projectile holes in the walls. It was obvious that a rifle had been discharged from within the bedroom outward through the living room wall and open door. Discharged casings were also observed in the mudroom and out on the front porch. Two holes were evident in the living room window that originated from within the residence.

The scene and residence were photographed and video-recorded.

The SIU forensic investigator subsequently examined three OPP cruisers parked in the driveway outside the front of the home. Two of the cruisers revealed gunshot strikes to the driver’s side and one showed a flat tire from a rifle bullet.

Physical Evidence

Use of Force Equipment – The SO

A SIU forensic investigator inspected the SO’s use of force equipment. His service pistol was a Glock model 17 (9mm). His primary magazine held 14 rounds of WIN 9mm Luger; one round was chambered. The total capacity would have been 18 rounds, including the chambered round. The secondary magazine contained 17 rounds and the third was damaged by a rifle projectile. The SO’s use of force belt was photographed. It had bullet damage to the handcuff pouch.

Figure 1 – The SO’s firearm

Video/Audio/Photographic Evidence [3]

BWC Footage

On May 11, 2023, the OPP provided the SIU the video footage from the cameras of Officer #1 and WO #1.

On May 11, 2023, at 2:28:16 a.m., the video from Officer #1’s camera commenced as he pulled into the driveway that accessed the home on Laval Street, Bourget. He parked behind another OPP cruiser [the SO’s vehicle], which had its emergency lights activated. Both cruisers were positioned with the front facing the home. Officer #1 radioed that he was on scene.

Starting at about 2:29:19 a.m., Officer #1 exited his cruiser. He walked to the SO’s cruiser and they spoke. Officer #1 asked the SO if the Complainant had any children. The SO said, “No,” and indicated that he believed the Complainant was alone in the home. The SO told Officer #1 that the outside light of the residence, which was on, had not been on when he arrived. The SO’s cruiser appeared to have a spotlight on the window and side of the residence. The two officers walked up the driveway in between two parked vehicles. They shone their flashlights at the residence.

Starting at about 2:30:32 a.m., Officer #1 stood at the bottom of the front porch stairs while the SO searched in between the house and detached garage. They then walked around the perimeter, shining their flashlights onto the sides and into windows. A dog was heard barking from within the home. Officer #1, situated on the rear porch, shone his flashlight through the back door window and knocked several times but no one answered. The SO walked to a rear window and shone his flashlight in. He too knocked several times to garner attention; however, there was no answer.

Starting at about 2:32:50 a.m., Officer #1 was on the front porch and shone his flashlight into the window. WO #1 arrived and positioned himself behind Officer #1. The home was in darkness with the exception of the officers’ flashlights. The SO opened the front door and said, “Hello, [the Complainant’s first name]. Police.” A dog barked and the SO entered the mudroom with his flashlight illuminated. He unholstered his firearm and said, “Hello, [the Complainant’s first name]. Police.”

Officer #1 followed the SO into the mudroom. The SO called the Complainant’s name, and Officer #1 said, “Hello?” At that time, the SO stepped towards an open door [4] within the living room that led to a bedroom.

Without warning, multiple rounds [5] were fired from within the bedroom, which was in darkness. The SO immediately fell to the floor in the living room and Officer #1 fell to the floor in the mudroom.

Starting at about 2:33:29 a.m., WO #1 ran from the front porch to behind a parked cruiser and yelled, “What’s going on?” Officer #1 yelled back at WO #1, “Help,” as he laid on his back with his BWC pointed upwards and towards the living room within the residence. He attempted to lift himself up; however, he could not and collapsed. Additional shots were heard as the SO ran from the living room to the exterior of the front porch [6] where he remained for a short time. WO #1 was heard yelling for the SO to “retreat” from his position, after which he was struck in the left knee by a ricochet bullet fired from within the home.
A short time later, the Complainant exited the bedroom and discharged a rifle. He looked down and crouched over Officer #1 as he attempted to manipulate something on Officer #1’s waist.

Starting at about 2:37:22 a.m., the Complainant used a phone to call 911.

Several minutes later, a male OPP officer yelled for him not to move and the Complainant said, “The gun's right there.” The sound of sirens were heard in the background.

911 Call – CW #1

On May 11, 2023, the OPP provided the SIU the initial 911 call recording placed by CW #1. CW #1 was calling to provide observations of the Complainant’s home on Laval Street.

On May 11, 2023, starting at about 2:09:36 a.m., CW #1 called the OPP via 911 to report hearing the Complainant screaming and then the sound of a gunshot. CW #1 confirmed vehicles were in his driveway. CW #1 did not see any movement, but heard loud music being played and there was an exterior light that was on. CW #1 knew that the Complainant’s lived alone. CW #1 possessed the telephone number of the Complainant and offered to call him, but the dispatcher instructed her not to call. The number was provided to the OPP call-taker. At that time, the Complainant’s light went out and CW #1 indicated it was believed it to be a motion sensor light. A short time later, CW #1 heard officers as they arrived. Upon the arrival of the first OPP officer [the SO] in the Complainant’s driveway, CW #1 heard him yell, “Hello.” He then retreated after receiving no response and the call-taker told her that back-up officers were not far out. At 2:23:45 a.m., the call was concluded when Officer #1 and WO #1 arrived.

Materials Obtained from Police Service

Upon request, the SIU received the following materials from the OPP between May 13 and 23, 2023:
  • Arrest Report – May 11, 2023;
  • BWC footage;
  • Communications recordings;
  • Occurrence Summary;
  • Event Details Report - Case Synopsis;
  • Call-signs and names of OPP officers in attendance at scene;
  • Occurrence History;
  • Occurrence Details and Reports;
  • Civilian witness contact information;
  • Civilian witness interviews (x10);
  • Notes – WO #4;
  • Notes – WO #2; and
  • Notes – WO #3.

Incident Narrative

The material events in question, clear on the evidence collected by the SIU, may briefly be summarized.

In the early morning of May 11, 2023, OPP officers were called to the residence on Laval Street, Bourget, to check on the welfare of the Complainant. CW #1 had called police to report the Complainant screaming inside the house followed by the sound of a gunshot. CW #1 was concerned that the Complainant had shot himself.

The SO was the first officer to arrive on scene. He consulted with CW #1 and then made his way over to the Complainant’s house a short distance away. The SO was soon joined by Officer #1 on the front driveway of the property. The time was 2:29 a.m.

The officers exited their cruisers and walked around the residence, inspecting it with their flashlights. They looked in through windows and banged on the rear door attempting to attract the Complainant’s attention. As they returned to the front of the house, the officers were joined by WO #1.

The SO and Officer #1 climbed the steps to a porch at the front of the house. Led by the SO, who opened the unlocked front door, they entered the darkened residence into a mudroom. The SO announced, “Police,” and called out the Complainant’s name a couple of times. There was no response. The officer drew his firearm, turned right, and walked through an open doorway into a living room. He had taken six or seven steps towards an open door at the far end of the living room when shots rang out without warning – about nine or ten in the span of two to three seconds.

The open door led into a bedroom. The Complainant was in that room, armed with a rifle. He had fired through the open door and bedroom walls out towards the SO and Officer #1.

The SO was struck by the gunfire and immediately keeled over. The officer suffered life-altering wounds.

Officer #1 was also struck multiple times and felled, landing on his back inside the mudroom. He had been inside the threshold of the doorway from the mudroom into the living room, two to three metres behind the SO, when the shots were fired. He would succumb to his wounds.

WO #1 drew his gun and ran from the front porch to seek cover behind the police vehicles on driveway.

About 30 seconds after the barrage of gunfire from the Complainant ended, the SO managed to make it to his feet and run out of the house through the mudroom, shooting two or three times in the direction of the bedroom as he did so. The officer returned shortly to check on Officer #1 from the threshold of the front door into the mudroom but was reluctant to enter. For good reason. The Complainant was still in possession of the rifle and standing by the open bedroom door. In fact, the SO had just turned away from the front door when the Complainant walked through his bedroom door, and fired two additional rounds through the wall and/or window that lined the front deck. One of those bullets ricocheted and struck WO #1 in the left knee.

The Complainant proceeded into the living room and, from the threshold of the doorway leading into the mudroom, fired again through the open front door. About a minute and a half later, the Complainant discharged four more rounds in rapid succession. That was the last of the shooting. The time was 2:35 a.m.

The Complainant would shortly drop his weapon and surrender into police custody.

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.

(3) Subsection (1) does not apply if the force is used or threatened by another person for the purpose of doing something that they are required or authorized by law to do in the administration or enforcement of the law, unless the person who commits the act that constitutes the offence believes on reasonable grounds that the other person is acting unlawfully.

Analysis and Director's Decision

On May 12, 2023, the OPP contacted the SIU to report that one of their officers – the SO – had discharged his firearm at a male – the Complainant – the day before. The shooting was part of a series of events at a home in Bourget, Ontario, which saw another OPP officer – Officer #1 – shot and killed by the Complainant. The SO was himself grievously wounded by the Complainant. A third officer – WO #1 – was also struck by a bullet fired by the Complainant. The SIU initiated an investigation that focused on the SO’s firearm discharge, identifying the SO as the subject official. The SIU’s investigation is now concluded. On my assessment of the evidence, there are no reasonable grounds to believe that the SO committed a criminal offence.

Section 34 of the Criminal Code provides that conduct that would otherwise constitute an offence is legally justified if it was intended to deter a reasonably apprehended assault, actual or threatened, and was itself reasonable. The reasonableness of the conduct is to be assessed in light of all the relevant circumstances, including with respect to such considerations 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 use by the SO of his weapon fell within the ambit of the protection prescribed by section 34.

It is evident that the SO fired his weapon to protect himself from an assault at the hands of the Complainant. The officer had just been struck by multiple rounds and he had every reason to fear that his life was at risk of continuing gunfire from the Complainant as he discharged his weapon making his way out of the home.

It is also evident that the officer’s use of his firearm in defence of himself and his colleagues constituted reasonable force. The Complainant had demonstrated a willingness to use lethal force – rapid fire from a rifle – and nothing short of return fire had the potential to meet the pressing imperative of the moment, namely, to immediately deter the Complainant from firing again. In fact, though the Complainant was not struck, it does appear that the SO’s gunfire played a role in his successful exit from the home.

In the result, as there are no reasonable grounds to believe that the SO comported himself other than lawfully when he discharged his firearm in the Complainant’s direction, there is no basis for proceeding with criminal charges. The file is closed.

Date: September 8, 2023

Electronically approved by

Joseph Martino
Special Investigations Unit


  • 1) OPP statements of CW #1 and CW #2 were reviewed, and interviews deemed not necessary. [Back to text]
  • 2) WO #2, WO #3, and WO #4 attended after the interaction and arrested the Complainant. [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) This doorway led to the Complainant’s bedroom. The entire interior of the home was in darkness, except for the OPP officers’ flashlights. [Back to text]
  • 5) There were approximately nine to ten rounds fired. [Back to text]
  • 6) The SO’s position was just outside the mudroom on the front porch. [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.