TORONTO — Ontario’s police watchdog says a Toronto police officer who fatally shot a man armed with a hammer didn’t exceed the range of justifiable force.
The Special Investigations Unit says it will not lay charges against the officer who shot Andrew Loku, 45, around midnight on July 5, 2015.
The SIU says police were called to a third-floor apartment by a woman who said Loku had a hammer and was threatening to kill her friend.
It says two officers arrived moments later and confronted Loku in the hallway.
The agency says the officers had their guns drawn and repeatedly told Loku to drop the hammer as he walked towards them.
It says Loku continued to move towards the officers, raising the hammer above his head, and was shot twice when he came within two or three metres of one officer.
The SIU says an autopsy found the cause of death was gunshot wounds to the left chest.
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The agency’s director, Tony Loparco, said there is “no question” the officers were acting according to their duty when they approached Loku.
“On this record, confronted with an armed and violent suspect who had neared to within three metres or less and was refusing to stop, I am satisfied that the subject officer fired his weapon believing it to be necessary to thwart an imminent hammer attack and that the officer’s apprehensions in this regard were reasonable,” he said in a statement.
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.
© 2016 The Canadian Press