NEWS

Man shot by U.S. customs officer to face charges in Canada

12/22/2014 02:07 EST | Updated 02/21/2015 05:59 EST
A Canadian man shot by a U.S. border officer at the Ambassador Bridge crossing between Detroit and Windsor is in custody in the U.S. and will face weapons and dangerous driving charges on his return to Canada for events that occurred in Windsor prior to the shooting.

The man initially tried to engage Windsor police while waving a gun in a McDonald's parking lot, Deputy Police Chief Vince Power said at a news conference Monday.

Police responded to a call about a man with a gun in the restaurant’s parking lot at 2:40 a.m. Sunday. It was the man with the gun who called 911, Power said.

Police said the man pointed the gun in the direction of the officers and asked, "Why haven't you shot me yet?"

Diners and staff at the McDonald's had no idea what was unfolding behind them and police chose not to shoot.

“Officers were faced with what they thought was a deadly threat. They showed tremendous restraint. At one point, officers considered lethal force. They opted not to shoot,” Power said.

When police didn’t open fire, the man drove off in a black Ford Explorer, driving over a sidewalk and eventually onto the E.C. Row Expressway.

“These situations are dynamic. This was not a controlled environment and one we could not contain,” Power said.

The incident has been thoroughly reviewed by Windsor police Chief Al Frederick, he said.

“We are satisfied with the actions of these officers. They met the high standard of their training and high expectations of this community,” Power said.

Windsor police notified neighbouring police departments, the Canada Border Services Agency and U.S. Customs and Border Protection about the man with a gun, Power said. Officers in Windsor also stopped vehicles of similar descriptions in an effort to find the man, Power said.

2 officers open fire, hit man in arm

The same man pulled up to a U.S. inspection booth at around 3 a.m. Sunday and started walking towards border officers while waving what officers thought was a handgun.

The officers ordered him to drop the weapon, the agency said, but the man instead pointed the gun in the officers' direction, prompting them to open fire.

Power said Windsor police are working closely with U.S. law enforcement.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection has not said if the 22-year-old suspect being held in custody has been charged with any crime.

In a statement, agency spokesperson Kris Grogan said the investigation is ongoing.

Grogan said U.S. Customs and Border Protection investigators have reviewed video of the border shooting and interviewed five witnesses.

“Based on preliminary information from the investigation, two CBP officers fired their service issued weapons in response to an individual on foot, rapidly approaching the CBP officers, wielding in his hand what appeared to be a black handgun,” Grogan said in the statement.

“One officer fired three rounds, the other fired one round. One round hit the subject in the arm. Investigators determined that the individual was holding a replica of a handgun.”

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