Man shot dead in Niagara Falls by police had weapons and officers were injured, says SIU


Published February 28, 2022 at 9:16 pm

The man who was shot dead on Monday afternoon by Niagara Parks Police officers shot bear spray and had “an edged weapon,” the provincial police watchdog says.

The Ontario Special Investigations Unit released an update on Monday night about the circumstances surrounding the death of a 49-year-old man hours earlier under the Rainbow Bridge in Niagara Falls. The SIU, which has a mandate to investigate whenever police are involved in a death, serious injury, or allegation of sexual assault, says that three investigators and two forensic investigators have been assigned to the case.

The post-mortem on the man is scheduled for Wednesday (March 2). One subject official and five witness officials have been designated at this time, the SIU said.

In its release, the SIU said preliminary information suggests the following chain of events:

  • At approximately 2 p.m., two Niagara Parks Police officers responded to an area under the Rainbow Bridge near River Road and Hiram Street for a nuisance call involving the man.
  • The man discharged bear spray at the officers. The man also had an edged weapon. There was an interaction, and an officer discharged his firearm at the man.
  • The man was pronounced deceased at the scene.
  • Both officers went to the hospital for treatment of injuries.

The SIU’s jurisdiction includes the conduct of Niagara Parks police officers, as well as special constables with the Niagara Parks Commission and peace officers with the Legislative Protective Service.

By law, SIU Director Joseph Martino must consider whether the subject official(s) committed a criminal offence in connection with the incident under investigation. Depending on the evidence and eventual decision, that can cause a criminal charge to be laid against the official where grounds exist for doing so, or the SIU closing the file without any charges being laid.

The SIU must also publicly report the results of its investigations.

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