July 31, 2017 12:30 pm

‘No grounds for charges’ after officer shot man in Winnipeg Skywalk: IIU

The officer who shot this man during an incident in Winnipeg's Skywalk is not facing charges after an IIU investigation.

Sean Leslie/Global News

Manitoba’s civilian police watchdog has found no grounds for charges against an officer who shot a man carrying a stick with scissors taped to it in May.

On May 1 police encountered the man in Winnipeg’s downtown Skywalk along Graham Avenue, above the police headquarters. He was holding a black stick with one end hidden in his armpit, according to the Independent Investigation Unit of Manitoba (IIU). He entered an optometrist’s office and tried holding the door shut behind him, three officers forced their way in.

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READ MORE: Man shot by police officer in downtown Winnipeg skywalk

The man then pulled the other end of the stick from his armpit and revealed scissors taped to the end, forming a home-made spear.

During the incident, the man called 911 and left the line open. IIU investigators said they could hear a “continuous recording of the words of the 911 operator and police officers at the scene, right until the time of the shooting” 134 seconds after the call was made.

According to the IIU, the officer told the man 14 times to drop his weapon before the officer fired twice. One of the bullets struck the man in the right side.

READ MORE: ‘Undone, uncontrollable’: Doctor describes man shot by police in Winnipeg skywalk

IIU Civilian Director, Zane Tessler said in a news release the officer who fired his weapon “was faced with a dangerous and dynamic situation that unfolded quickly. It would be unreasonable for police to wait before acting. Any delay could have led to the death of WPS officers or other civilians within the (optometrist’s) office.”

The IIU interviewed the man, eight witness officers and 11 civilian witnesses. The man who was shot was upgraded to stable condition and is facing outstanding charges from the incident.

© 2017 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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