SIU Director’s Report - Case # 23-OFD-278


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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 death of a 35-year-old man (the “Complainant”).

The Investigation

Notification of the SIU [1]

On July 21, 2023, at 11:19 a.m., the London Police Service (LPS) contacted the SIU with the following information.

At 8:43 a.m., that morning, numerous calls from the public were received regarding a man, the Complainant, armed with a handgun attempting to steal vehicles. The Complainant had fled to the area of Glenroy Road in London where he was responsible for a home invasion at about 8:52 a.m. The Complainant then continued to a nearby address where he confronted a man on a ladder that was working outside the residence. The Complainant shot the man in the face. The Complainant proceeded to another address where he entered the home and then barricaded himself in the garage. At 10:20 a.m., a LPS Emergency Response Unit (ERU) officer discharged his firearm at the Complainant, striking him. The Complainant was taken to London Health Sciences Centre (LHSC) Victoria Hospital where he was pronounced deceased at 10:50 a.m.

The Team

Date and time team dispatched: 07/21/2023 at 11:46 a.m.

Date and time SIU arrived on scene: 07/21/2023 at 12:08 p.m.

Number of SIU Investigators assigned: 5

Number of SIU Forensic Investigators assigned: 2

Affected Person (aka “Complainant”):

35-year-old male; deceased

Civilian Witnesses (CW)

CW #1 Interviewed
CW #2 Interviewed
CW #3 Not interviewed; interview with LPS reviewed
CW #4 Interviewed

The civilian witnesses were interviewed on July 21, 2023, and July 31, 2023.

Subject Officials (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 Interviewed
WO #5 Interviewed
WO #6 Interviewed

The witness officials were interviewed between July 25, 2023, and July 28, 2023.


The Scene

The events in question transpired in and around the garage of the house situated at Glenroy Road, London. The garage and house were captured in drone footage. The images also captured the positioning of the LAV [light-armoured vehicle] in relation to the garage.

Physical Evidence

The SIU collected clothing, jewellery, and other personal items.

The SIU also collected the SO’s LPS C8 rifle and projectiles, and submitted them to the Centre of Forensic Sciences (CFS).

Figure 1- The SO's C8 rifle

Forensic Evidence

LPS submitted the Complainant’s firearm and all recovered cartridge casings and projectiles to the CFS for testing.

On July 24, 2023, at 12:46 p.m., the SIU submitted the SO’s LPS-issued C8 rifle, magazine, cartridges, cartridge casings, and the projectile which was believed to have been discharged at the Complainant by the SO to the CFS. On November 14, 2023, CFS provided the firearms report to the SIU. The firearms report on the LPS rifle concluded that it test-fired correctly. Three test fire bullets were discharged and those along with the recovered projectile found in the garage were examined. The CFS concluded that the bullets could neither be identified or eliminated as having been fired by the LPS Colt rifle.

Video/Audio/Photographic Evidence [2]

Police Communications Recordings

On July 25, 2023, at 12:01 p.m., LPS provided 65 audio files to the SIU in connection with the incident under investigation.

On July 21, 2023, at about 9:17 a.m., WO #5 advised he was taking command of the police operations, and asked WO #3 to confirm he was good with the inner perimeter and was aware he needed more officers. WO #3 confirmed they had an inner perimeter established with multiple uniform officers assisting. WO #5 suggested there were grounds at minimum to arrest the Complainant with ‘discharge firearm’ and ‘possession of firearm’.

WO #5 advised the command post (CP) was going to come to Glenroy Road and Deveron Crescent. The negotiator van was also on location, and WO #5 requested an investigator be assigned to attend the CP to conduct background investigations. Officer #1 advised there was banging in the backyard, near the fence in the shed area. WO #2 advised WO #3 and WO #5 that WO #6 was calling all the ERU members he could get. Shortly thereafter, WO #2, WO #1 and the SO went inside the LAV, which was in front of the garage at that time.

WO #5 broadcast, “Grounds for arrest were given, we’re lawfully in positions, members section 25, remember cover, concealment, please and thanks. Mission’s going to be to execute the arrest of this male as safely as possible as we believe he is a lone barricade at this point.”

WO #1 attempted to speak to the Complainant for about ten minutes, calling-out into the garage with a loud hailer. Responses were limited, usually a swear word or yelling. Sometime later, WO #1 and WO #3 heard some sort of yelling from within the garage. WO #1 continued with attempts to communicate with the Complainant on the loud hailer, to no avail. Noises heard were confirmed to be from the garage.

WO #5 provided a recap broadcast to all, as new LPS officers had been arriving, noting it was believed that the Complainant was alone in the garage barricaded with a firearm. WO #5 also broadcast, “Male from Glenroy Road, believed to have been shot in the face, round through the nose and exit out the left ear, so, officer safety be mindful, obviously, this male was shot, believed to be an independent, unknown individual.”

WO #5 continued with overall command of the situation, ensuring EMS was close by, a media package was being worked on, the immediate perimeter was adequate, and a LPS negotiator was en route. WO #5 advised, “Based on the update from the hospital, break. Grounds to arrest, for I suggest, attempt murder at this point and time at very minimum aggravated assault with a firearm.” WO #5 had to ensure that the multiple other scenes where the Complainant had committed a crime were adequately staffed and LPS forensic services were deployed appropriately. As well, the large crowd gathering needed to be pushed back for their safety.

WO #5 provided an update for all officers, “For awareness only, lone barricade male, Glenroy Road, believed to be the Complainant in possession of a handgun, possibly a 45 calibre. Mission (inaudible) at this location, he has no expectation of privacy here in terms of lawfully positioned, arrestable for discharge, attempt murder, aggravated assault (inaudible) forcible entry. Section 25 authority obviously for everybody, break. History is (inaudible) stole a truck earlier this morning at gunpoint, break. Vehicle left at Glenroy, a male and occupant at that location was shot in the face, one round by a .45 or similar calibre handgun, break. Occupant still in hospital, shooter believed to be the Complainant, break. The Complainant fled that residence possibly entered and exited [another residence] prior to entering. From officers on ground, believed he may have entered Glenroy by firing a round through the rear patio door to gain access. Two occupants of Glenroy since vacated, he is thus alone and inside, break.”

An officer advised WO #5 they were ready to reposition the LAV, to get it positioned directly in front of the pick-up truck that was in front of the garage so it could not be used for the Complainant to escape. As this was happening, a broadcast was sent, “Okay, we see the male, he’s got a gun in his hand. Shot out, shot out. Okay, shot fired by us and we believe the male’s down.” WO #6 acknowledged and asked for an update when possible. An officer responded, “He was standing right by the man garage door at the back, gun in his hand and he’s down now, not seeing any movement, the garage is very cluttered.”

The RPAS [remotely piloted aircraft system] used by LPS ERU was sent into the garage. After some time, a LPS officer advised Officer #2 the “drone has eyes on the male, break. And appears to be hunched over on the floor, and not moving”. There were call-outs into the garage to engage the Complainant, but no response. There was an issue with the RPAS battery.

WO #5 approved the ERU alpha team making entry, and they reported the Complainant had no vital signs.

The Complainant was transported to LHSC Victoria Hospital.

Video Footage – Residence on Glenroy Road

On July 21, 2023, investigators interviewed CW #2 regarding the interaction with the Complainant at her residence at Glenroy Road. CW #2 provided investigators with several video recordings and still images captured on her cellphone during the incident.

The videos captured armed LPS officers outside of her residence, and flashing police lights. Popping sounds could be heard. [The sounds were gunshots into her rear patio window, as the Complainant had shot the window to gain entry.] A male voice could be heard yelling, “Fuck, who’s fucking head was it, this one.” CW #2 took cover and then fled her residence into the arms of a LPS officer.

Another clip had audio of a LPS officer saying, “Come out with your hands up,” and “Nobody else needs to get hurt.”

LPS Drone Video

On July 26, 2023, at 10:29 a.m., LPS disclosed the RPAS video footage from the drone that recorded (the ERU drone did not record).

The footage captured the scene after the arrival of LPS ERU and their LAV. LPS officers could be seen positioned around the residence at Glenroy Road in both marked and unmarked LPS vehicles. One of the garage doors of the residence could be seen to be open with the LAV positioned on the front boulevard of the address with a line of sight (from the passenger side) into the open garage door where the Complainant was believed to be. No LPS officer was seen approaching the residence until after there was a confirmed discharge of a police firearm at 10:20 a.m.

Following the confirmed discharge of the firearm, LPS ERU officers were seen approaching the open garage door and north side pedestrian door of the residence behind ballistic shields. All the officers were dressed in tactical grey uniforms.

After the garage was secured by the ERU officers, Middlesex-London Paramedic Services paramedics were seen approaching the scene and providing care to the Complainant after he was removed from the garage.

Materials Obtained from Police Service

The SIU obtained the following records from the LPS between July 23, 2023, and July 31, 2023:
  • Drone footage;
  • Communications recordings;
  • Record of computer-assisted dispatch;
  • Investigative Chronology;
  • General Occurrence Report;
  • Copy of LPS interview with CW #3;
  • Background History - the Complainant;
  • Notes - WO #5;
  • Notes - WO #1;
  • Notes – WO #2;
  • Notes - WO #3;
  • Notes – WO #4; and
  • Notes - WO #6.

Materials Obtained from Other Sources

The SIU obtained the following records from the following other sources:
  • Civilian video and stills taken by CW #2, received July 22, 2023; and
  • Firearms Report from the CFS, received November 14, 2023.

Incident Narrative

The evidence gathered by the SIU, including interviews with police eyewitnesses, gives rise to the following scenario. As was his legal right, the SO chose not to interview with the SIU or authorize the release of his notes.

At about 8:45 a.m. of July 21, 2023, the Complainant, using a handgun to blow out the glass of the rear patio door, broke into a residence on Glenroy Road, London. His entry followed a series of violent acts in which the Complainant had threatened multiple other persons in and around the area with the gun, including shooting one of them in the face. The homeowner, CW #2, aware of the intruder, fled the residence. She called her basement tenant and told him to do the same. He did.

LPS had received reports of the Complainant’s rampage, and came to learn that he had broken into the aforementioned-residence on Glenroy Road. They promptly set up containment around the residence and called in the ERU.

A team of ERU officers, including the SO, began arriving on scene at about 9:20 a.m. They brought with them a LAV, which was parked on the boulevard just south of the home. From inside the LAV, they were able to observe the Complainant in the garage through the open, southern-most garage door. He was standing in the northeast corner of the garage holding the gun.

Armed with a C8 rifle, the SO took up a position in one of the LAV’s gun ports. Another ERU officer – WO #2 – did the same at another gun port inside the vehicle. WO #1 and WO #4 were also in the vehicle. With the use of the LAV’s loudhailer, WO #1 attempted to communicate with the Complainant. The Complainant did not reciprocate. The standoff continued for close to an hour when, at about 10:20 a.m., just as the LAV had been moved closer to the garage, the SO and WO #2 each observed the Complainant raising his gun to eye level and pointing it at the vehicle. The SO discharged a single round from his rifle striking the Complainant in the neck. The Complainant collapsed and could no longer be seen.

A police drone was sent into the garage to check on the condition of the Complainant. At about 10:39 a.m., it captured imagery of the Complainant hunched over but not moving. Police officers would enter the garage with ballistic shields and find the Complainant vital signs absent. He was subsequently pronounced deceased.

Cause of Death

The pathologist at autopsy was of the preliminary view that the Complainant’s death was attributable to a gunshot wound of the neck.

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

The Complainant passed away in London on July 21, 2023, the result of a gunshot wound. As the wound was inflicted by the SO of the LPS, the SIU was notified and initiated an investigation, naming the officer 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 Complainant’s death.

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. In my view, the force used by the SO fell within the four corners of the justification set out in the provision.

Though the SO did not come in for an interview, as was his legal right, I am satisfied that he acted to defend himself and others from a reasonably apprehended threat when he fired his rifle. Given what the officer knew of the Complainant’s propensity for gun violence that morning, I am confident that the SO rightly believed that public safety was at imminent risk from gunfire, and that there was an immediate need to take defensive action, when the Complainant raised his firearm as if preparing to fire it.

I am also satisfied that the officer’s choice of defensive force, namely, a single shot fired from his rifle, was reasonable. While the SO might have had some degree of protection inside the LAV, he could not be sure about the position and relative vulnerabilities of others inside the vehicle. Nor could the SO know what was happening around the LAV and the presence of officers or civilians in the vicinity. Not firing when he did so, as the Complainant adopted a firing stance with his gun, would have placed the public at risk of grievous bodily harm or death. On this record, the SO had little choice but to resort to the only weapon at his disposal to incapacitate the Complainant as quickly as possible – his firearm. In this regard, it is telling that WO #2, similarly positioned inside the LAV as the SO, his rifle trained on the Complainant, was just about to pull the trigger of his own weapon when the SO fired.

In the result, as there are no reasonable grounds to conclude that the SO comported himself other than within the confines of the criminal law when he fired his rifle at the Complainant, there is no basis for proceeding with criminal charges in this case. The file is closed.

Date: November 17, 2023

Electronically approved by

Joseph Martino
Special Investigations Unit


  • 1) The information in this section reflects the information received by the SIU at the time of notification and does not necessarily reflect the SIU’s finding of facts following its investigation. [Back to text]
  • 2) 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.