911 callers recall the night police shot teen in Mississauga as inquest continues
Published September 27, 2023 at 3:28 pm
Recalling the terrifying moments leading up to the police shooting of 15-year-old Ozama Shaw in Mississauga, witnesses spoke at the inquest into the teen’s death.
A Peel Regional Police officer shot the teen at Credit Valley Town Plaza in the early morning hours of July 27, 2017, after he and a group of friends tried to rob two businesses and carjack two vehicles.
One of the first people to call 911 was Janet Wade-Hunt who had gone to the plaza that night to use the Wifi. It was raining and difficult to see clearly but she noticed someone coming toward her car. She attempted to push the lock door buttons but pressed the wrong button.
Shaw opened the passenger door of Wade-Hunt’s car, she said. Fearful of what he might do and not wanting a stranger in her car, Wade-Hunt said she asked him to shut the door.
She said she was trying to keep as “calm as possible and not scream.”
She lied and said her boyfriend was in the Pizza Pizza and would be coming right back. That seemed to have worked as Shaw closed the door and left.
But she watched as he went to another car and bang on the window. This time she believed she saw a gun in his hand as she told the 911 call taker.
The inquest heard that 911 call as Wade-Hunt described how Shaw opened her vehicle door, left and then banged on the window of another one. She says several times, “he’s got a gun.”
Wade-Hunt stayed on the line as she watched Shaw head through the parking lot, eventually going to BMO bank. A police car arrives and a few seconds later Wade-Hunt starts to scream.
“Please don’t shoot him.”
Later, while she is still on the 911 call, gun shots are heard and Wade-Hunt screams again.
“They shot him, no,” she yells. “I asked you not to shoot him.”
Another witness who was working at the cash at the Pizza Pizza recalled Shaw entering the restaurant around 1:45 a.m. He came to the counter and she told him about the specials as she thought he came for food, Simran Sandhu told the inquest.
But Sandhu noticed something off about him as if he might be ill.
“He was just sort of staring blankly and sort of licking his lips,” she said.
She began to feel nervous and after repeating the specials, he said something strange.
“He leaned forward against the counter and he had whispered under his breath, said under his breath, ‘How much do you love your life?'”
She heard a clanking sound when his hoody hit the counter and she thought he might have a weapon.
“I got very, very scared at that point,” she says.
Not knowing what to do, she grabbed her purse from the below the counter and headed to the back of the restaurant. Sandhu called 911 from the back of the restaurant telling the call-taker that there was a man with a gun in the restaurant.
Her co-worker, Kaman Mangat, a cook at the Pizza Pizza, took over at the counter.
Through an interpreter, Mangat said he was in charge of the restaurant at that time. Mangat suspected something was wrong in the conversation with Sandhu, and he went to the counter.
When Mangat went to the counter, he couldn’t understand what Shaw was saying to him. Shaw was speaking slowly and quietly, and he was also smiling.
Then Shaw asked Mangat what country he was from. He jokingly told him he was Japanese-Indian, and then Shaw “high-fived” him. But then Shaw asked for money.
He pulled out a gun and slowly brought it to the cook’s face.
“I don’t have any money,” Mangat told Shaw. The cash, at that point, was in the safe in the back.
Shaw brought the gun closer to his nose.
“At that time the gun did not seem real to me,” Mangat said through in the inquest.
He grabbed the barrel and with his other hand, the cook moved the gun away. He explained he felt the gun was too close and he had to move it away. When he touched the gun, it felt real, he said.
“I tried to grab it from him.”
But Shaw takes the gun back and leaves the Pizza Pizza.
In a surveillance video played for the inquest, the two talk for a short time then Shaw pulls out the gun and points it at the cook. Mangat attempts to grab the gun and Shaw pulls back and leaves the restaurant with the gun still in his hand, the video showed.
Mangat and Sandhu said they saw Shaw go into the BMO bank. Police arrived and they heard a woman shouting to police to not shoot. They also heard gun shots.
It was later revealed the gun was an unloaded pellet gun.insauga's Editorial Standards and Policies advertising