Police Officer Not Criminally Charged After Shooting Machete-Wielding Man in Mississauga

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A Peel Regional Police officer will not face criminal charges in connection with the shooting death of a 35-year-old man in Mississauga.

Tony Loparco, the director of the Special Investigations Unit (SIU), has determined there are no reasonable grounds to lay criminal charges against the officer in relation to the December 2017 incident.

The SIU says that in the late evening of Dec. 29, 2017, the 35-year-old approached several people on Willowbank Trail asking them where "Ewa" (pronounced Eva in English) was.

The SIU says the man displayed a large machete/knife, and was reported to have used the knife to slash at one of the 911 callers. The caller managed to avoid being cut by the weapon.

At least two individuals called 911 to report the situation.

The SIU says the man then returned to Torino Crescent, where he confronted a neighbour and told him he had used cocaine that evening.

Police say tactical and K9 units were sent to investigate.

According to the SIU, one of the police officers called out to the man, who then immediately ran across the road to his residence. The report says he was then seen kicking at the front door of the home, as the four police officers took up positions at the end of the driveway.

"The Complainant then came away from the front door and walked toward the driveway. As he walked around the rear of a car that was parked in the driveway, the Complainant raised the same weapon that he had been seen brandishing earlier, a machete style knife with a 12 inch (30 cm) blade," the report reads.

The report says the man advanced with the machete/knife in hand, prompting the officer to discharge his weapon "in fear of his life."

The bullet struck the man in the chest.

Shortly thereafter, paramedics arrived and attempted life saving techniques. He was transported to hospital and was pronounced dead in the early morning hours of Dec. 30.

Six investigators and three forensic investigators were assigned to investigate the incident. At this time the SIU has designated one subject officer and five witness officers.

The court says the officer's actions were justified under the circumstances.

"Having extensively reviewed all of the evidence, and the law relating to the justification in using force intended to cause death or grievous bodily harm when one believes on reasonable grounds that it is necessary for one's self-preservation, or the preservation of others, from death or grievous bodily harm, I find in all the circumstances that the SO reasonably believed that his life was in danger from the Complainant and that his actions in firing upon the Complainant were justified," the report reads.

"I find that it would have been foolish and reckless for the SO to risk his life, and those of his colleagues, by waiting for the Complainant, with machete raised, to close the gap between himself and the officers thereby putting their lives at immediate risk of serious injury or death."

The SIU is an arm's length agency that investigates reports involving police where there has been death, serious injury or allegations of sexual assault.

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