Officer who shot gunman in 2021 will not be charged: SIU

A Waterloo Regional Police Service officer will not face charges in connection with the 2021 shooting of a 19-year-old man in Kitchener, as the SIU determines the victim intended to induce the officer to kill him .

Ontario’s Special Investigations Unit announced its decision on Friday and said there are “no reasonable grounds to believe that the officer conducted himself other than lawfully throughout his engagement” with the victim.

At approximately 6:50 p.m. on August 18, police received a report of a man in distress near the Laurentian Power Center at Ottawa Street South and Strasburg Road. They said that when the officers arrived, the man drove his vehicle into a police cruiser. He threatened the officer with a knife, then exited the vehicle and jumped over the hood of the patrol car, before pursuing the officer.

A photo of the WRPS cruiser and the vehicle belonging to the man from the SIU report.

The SIU report says that when the man ignored stop orders, the officer fired his weapon once and the man was hit in the right knee, causing him to collapse to the ground. He then got up and charged the agent. The SIU said the officer fired another shot, followed by seven more as the man continued to follow him.

The policeman then fell and dropped his weapon. The man picked it up “momentarily” before the officer approached him from behind and a physical altercation ensued. The two struggled until more officers arrived on the scene and took the man into custody.

The man was taken to hospital with gunshot wounds to his left arm, as well as his left and right legs. His injuries were considered not life-threatening.

The SIU report says a black-handled butcher-style knife, approximately 34 centimeters long, and a handwritten note were found at the scene.

A photo of the knife the man was carrying during his interaction with WRPS from the SIU report.

Investigators have determined that the man decided to end his life by inciting a police officer to shoot him. His plan, according to the SIU report, was to buy a vehicle and drive it without license plates. When he was arrested by the police, he intended to threaten the officer with a knife, forcing them to shoot him.

The report goes on to say that the man’s family learned of his plan through his social media posts and contacted the police.

The handwritten note was addressed to “officers and friends and family” and, according to the SIU, apologized to the police officer “that he hoped and planned to end up killing him.”

The SIU has determined that “there is little doubt that the [officer] acted with proportionate and reasonable force when seeking to defend himself from a stabbing attack with his own deadly force.”