March 14, 2016 5:59 am
Updated: March 18, 2016 10:01 am

SIU probes death of 21-year-old shot by police in North York

WATCH: A North York family is trying to understand how their 21-year-old son who they say has never had trouble with the law was shot and killed by police. As Caryn Lieberman reports, the province’s police watchdog is now investigating.

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The family of a 21-year-old shot dead by police in north Toronto describe him as a quiet man who they believe was coming back from walking his girlfriend to the subway when he was killed.

The Special Investigations Unit says officers responded to a fight between two men shortly after 11 p.m. Sunday at the Leslie Street subway station.

The SIU says one of the men fled into a park near Leslie Street and Sheppard Avenue where the was a “confrontation” and a police firearm discharged.

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Alex Wettlaufer was rushed to Sunnybrook Hospital where he was pronounced dead. His family confirmed his identity Monday.

Wettlaufer’s brother said Wettlaufer was heading back through the park on his usual route after taking his girlfriend to the subway.

He said Wettlaufer worked in a factory and never had any run-ins with the law or touched a gun. He was a quiet man who didn’t even use social media, the brother added.

“He kept to himself and was never in trouble.”

Wettlaufer hoped to enlist in the military, said his sister-in-law, who, like the brother, did not want to be identified.

“He was the one no one worried about,” she said.

Wettlaufer was in a big family with 10 siblings, and had a twin brother who died in 1998, relatives said.

Four SIU investigators and three forensic investigators have been assigned to look into the shooting.

The provincial agency investigates incidents involving police where there has been a death, serious injury or allegations of sexual assault.

Anyone who may have witnessed the incident is urged to contact the lead investigator at 1-800-787-8529.

With files from David Shum

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