The province’s police watchdog says it’s investigating after a man was fatally shot and a Toronto police officer suffered injuries in a shooting in Scarborough early Thursday.
The Special Investigations Unit said in a statement Thursday morning that according to preliminary information, officers were called to the Warden Avenue and Hymus Road area, south of Eglinton Avenue East, at around 12 a.m. with reports someone had a gun.
Monica Hudon, a spokesperson for the SIU, said that the call was placed by an off-duty officer who had seen a man with a firearm at a pub.
Officers found a suspect in a vehicle outside. Hudon said police and the man exchanged gunfire while the man was still in the car. He was shot multiple times.
Hudon told reporters she couldn’t say who shot first, as that information is part of the SIU’s investigation, but said three officers were involved in the exchange.
The man, a 36-year-old from Scarborough who has not yet been identified, was pronounced dead in hospital, she said.
A Toronto Paramedics spokesperson said the officer was taken to a trauma centre with non-life-threatening injuries.
Toronto Police Association president Mike McCormack told Global News that the officer, a man in his early 30s with four years of service, was wearing a bullet-proof vest that saved his life.
The officer is being treated for bruising and being monitored for internal injuries, he said.
Toronto Police Chief Mark Saunders told reporters on Thursday morning that the officer is OK and will be released from hospital at some point.
“I’m incredibly proud of the work that the officers that attended, what they did,” he said, adding that he is grateful the officers were “well equipped” for the situation.
Six investigators and three forensic investigators have been assigned to the SIU investigation, and the agency is looking to speak with witnesses or anyone who might have recorded the incident on video.
The SIU is an independent agency that investigates incidents involving police that have resulted in death, serious injury or alleged sexual assault.
With files from Marianne Dimain