Peel cop justified in firing gun at man with a hammer in Mississauga: SIU

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Published October 20, 2023 at 5:35 pm

SIU investigation after Peel police officer fires gun at man in Mississauga
(Photo: SIU)

A Peel Regional Police officer who fired his gun at a man who was coming at him swinging a hammer on the side of Highway 403 in Mississauga has been cleared of any criminal wrongdoing.

In a news release Friday afternoon, Ontario’s Special Investigations Unit said the officer, one of two in plain clothes who stopped to help a motorist at the side of the busy highway this past June 24 at about 8 p.m., missed the 36-year-old motorist with his shot and the bullet struck a vehicle.

The SIU, which investigates incidents where members of the public have been seriously injured or killed during interactions with police, said the “driver came at one of the officers while swinging a hammer. The subject official fired a single shot, missing his target.”

In handing down the decision, SIU Director Joseph Martino wrote that he found no reasonable grounds to believe the police officer committed a criminal offence in connection with shooting his gun at the hammer-wielding man.

“I am further satisfied that the nature and extent of the force used by the subject officer — a single gunshot — was reasonable in the circumstances,” Martino wrote. “The complainant had armed himself with a hammer — an object capable of inflicting grievous bodily harm or death — and was walking with purpose in the direction of the officers. He had been given a reasonable opportunity to drop the weapon and was within three to four metres (of one of the officers) when the subject officer fired his weapon.”

During the incident, which took place near where highways 403 and 401 meet, the man also tried to steal the police vehicle, the SIU noted.

A search of the man’s vehicle turned up an amount of drugs.

Both the man and his passenger were arrested at the scene and the man, who was impaired at the time, was taken to hospital with undisclosed injuries, the SIU said.

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