NEWS

SIU clears ETF officers in 2013 downtown shooting death

01/02/2015 04:11 EST | Updated 03/04/2015 05:59 EST
Ontario's Special Investigations Unit has cleared two Toronto police officers in the downtown shooting death of a man in 2013.

The daylight standoff occurred shortly after noon on Nov. 13 in the area of Sherbourne and Wellesley streets, after police officers attempted to execute an outstanding arrest warrant for the man. The man fled, and was pursued by the officers.

The man hunkered down in a nearby alcove and began discharging a weapon in the direction of the officers chasing him. While the pursuing officers later told investigators that the sound of the weapon suggested it was a pellet gun, this information was never passed on to other officers responding to the scene. 

The Emergency Task Force eventually took control of the scene and tried to coax the man out of his defensive position behind an overturned table in an alleyway. When the man stood up and aimed his weapon at officers again, he was shot and killed. 

It became clear after the incident that the man was indeed carrying a pellet gun, not a real firearm. 

The SIU interviewed 15 TPS officers who were at the scene, as well as 12 civilian witnesses, according to a press release issued Friday. 

Based on the interviews and a forensic analysis of the scene, SIU investigators determined that the officers had a reasonable belief that the man's weapon was a real firearm, and that the lives of officers were in danger. 

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