Cop who shot at Mississauga man who attacked wife and young sons cleared of wrongdoing – SIU

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Published July 5, 2022 at 10:06 pm

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The Peel Police officer who shot at a man during a March arrest in Mississauga has been cleared of any wrongdoing.

The Special Investigation Unit (SIU), the civilian oversight body that investigates potential police misconduct when someone is hurt or killed, announced at 9 p.m. July 5 the officer acted within legal parameters.

The investigation stems from an incident from March 7, 2022. The man who was ultimately shot, dubbed the Complainant in the SIU report, “for reasons unknown” began to attack his family.

He attacked his wife with a hammer and a knife that morning and proceeded to stab his 11-year-old son, according to the SIU.

A neighbour purportedly saw the man attacking his wife outside of their Southampton Drive home in Mississauga and called police as well. According to this caller the Complainant was naked, screaming and berating a woman. He had a bloodied hand and a held a knife.

The witness said the Complainant then struck the woman in the face with a hammer. He returned to the house leaving the woman bleeding on the ground but moving, per the witness.

The son fled to a neighbours home and reported what was happening and the neighbour called 9-1-1. The boy had been stabbed in his back and right arms. This second caller approached the garage and said they saw the Complainant stab his wife.

Peel Regional Police officers began to arrive on scene “within moments” of the calls, per the report. Some took tactical positions behind a nearby pick up truck parked in front of the family’s open garage.

By the time police arrived the woman was “in front of a residence with her back to the body camera. A lot of blood was on her and the ground around her. She was later pulled away from the home by neighbours and helped.”

Inside the garage sat the Complainant with a toddler, his younger son, held tightly to his chest. He sat on a doorstep to the interior of the house as officers order him to release the child. Body worn cameras recorded officers yell “drop the kid,” and “drop the kid or you’re going to get shot.”

He refused.

Eventually the officer who would fire the fateful shot, dubbed the Subject Officer (SO) in the report, arrived at the home around 10:10 a.m. The SO and his partner, dubbed the Witness Officer (WO), belong the the Peel police Emergency Response Unit (ERU).

They were a pair of the officer taking cover behind the truck in front of the driver’s side doors. The pair were armed the C-9 automatic rifles. They told the SIU they decided this was a situation in need of immediate intervention.

The SO’s rifle.

“The plan was to quickly approach the Complainant from both sides of the garage and to incapacitate him at the first opportunity, with the use of their C-8 rifles if necessary, which both officers held at the ready,” the report reads.

The Complainant watched as the officers approached and demanded he release the child. However he continued to clutch the boy unmoving from the step.

When the officers got with arm’s length of the Complainant, the WO struck him in the chest with his rifle barrel. The SO meanwhile fired his rifle. The shot went into the door behind the complaint just above the hinge.

The pair force the Complainant to the ground just inside the home and wrested the child from his grasp just inside the interior door.

Uniformed officers from outside joined in the ensuing physical fight. Ultimately the Complainant was tased multiple times and took several punches from the officers. Later SIU investigation found four used tasers in the garage.

The Complainant was arrested and taken to hospital where he was diagnosed with a broken rib.

SIU director Joseph Martino concluded, “there are no reasonable grounds to believe that the SO committed a criminal offence,” during the course of this arrest.”

“The SO explained that he was in the act of shooting the Complainant when the opportunity passed as WO #1 struck him with the rifle and he (the SO) no longer had a safe shot. Being committed to the shot, the SO managed to divert his aim to the right of the Complainant,” Martino said.

“The decision by the SO and WO #1 to storm the garage was a reasonable one. The Complainant had violently attacked his wife and 11-year-old son,” Martino continued, “was in the garage holding his toddler and refusing to release him, and remained possibly in the possession of the knife and hammer that he had just used against his family.”

Finally Martino added, “At the time of these events, the officers had good reason to believe that the toddler’s life was at imminent risk of grievous bodily harm or death at the hands of the Complainant. A resort to lethal force on this record would not appear to have been disproportionate to the exigencies of the moment.”

As a result no charges will be filed against the officer.

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