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SIU investigating fatal police-involved shooting in Haliburton area after alleged assault at Minden grocery store

Click to play video 'OPP investigating assault at Minden grocery store' OPP investigating assault at Minden grocery store
OPP are investigating a reported assault at a grocery store in Wednesday morning. The incident reportedly led police to pursue a suspect north to the Haliburton area. The SIU say a fatal police-involved shooting occurred shortly after.

The province’s Special Investigations Unit is investigating a fatal police-involved shooting of a man in Haliburton Highlands on Wednesday morning.

According an SIU update released at 6:40 p.m., the SIU says around 9:25 a.m. OPP were notified that a 73-year-old man had allegedly assaulted individuals at Easton’s Valu-mart grocery store on Highway 35 in Minden.

The man then left the grocery store in a vehicle.

Read more: Coronavirus: Masks to be worn inside businesses in Kawartha Lakes, Haliburton, Northumberland counties

“An officer observed the vehicle and commenced following it for a short period of time,” the SIU stated.

The SIU says based on the vehicle’s licence plate, officers made their way to a residence on Indian Point Road.

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“Outside the residence, there was an interaction with the man and two officers discharged their firearms,” the SIU stated. “The man was struck.”

The man was transported to hospital where he was pronounced deceased around 11:47 a.m., according to the SIU

The name of the man has not been released. The SIU are trying to locate the man’s next of kin.

The SIU say investigators so far have seized from the scene, a semi-automatic rifle and a pistol. The firearms of two police officers were also secured.

A post-mortem examination is scheduled for Thursday, the SIU said.

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On Wednesday morning Haliburton Highlands OPP were asking residents north of Haliburton to stay inside as police searched for a suspect following the alleged assault at a grocery store

According to witnesses, the man allegedly assaulted an employee after he was asked to put on a facial mask before entering the store.

OPP are on scene at Valu-Mart in Minden after a reported assault of an employee.
OPP are on scene at Valu-Mart in Minden after a reported assault of an employee. Harrison Perkins/Special to Global News Peterborough

The man also allegedly crashed his vehicle into the store, nearly struck several people in the parking lot and drove away, according to witnesses.

Police closed Harburn Road north of Haliburton and were asking residents and cottagers in the Drag Lake and Eagle Lake areas to remain inside and keep their doors locked.

OPP said their presence on Indian Point Road was related to the Minden investigation.

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Minden Valumart
A customer exits the Easton’s Valu-mart in Minden on Wednesday, July 15, 2020, amid police tape for an investigation into an alleged assault. Dan Nyznik/Global News Peterborough

On Facebook, members of the “Our Community of Drag and Spruce Lakes” report police are not permitting them onto the road.

In a tweet at 1:48 p.m., Sgt. Jason Folz of Central Region OPP advised residents to remain away from Indian Point Road for a “serious criminal matter.” He said there was no concerns for public safety.

Late Wednesday, OPP released a brief statement, saying “shots were fired” at the Indian Point Road address which caused the “responding police to request additional officers.”

Click to play video 'Man dead after police-involved shooting in Ontario cottage country' Man dead after police-involved shooting in Ontario cottage country
Man dead after police-involved shooting in Ontario cottage country

The SIU has assigned four investigators and two forensic investigators to the case.

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The SIU is urging anyone who may have information about this investigation to contact the lead investigator at 1-800-787-8529. Video evidence related to this incident can be uploaded through the SIU’s website.

The SIU investigates circumstances involving police and civilians that have resulted in serious injury, injury, death or allegations of sexual assault.

The SIU are investigating a police-involved shooting along Indian Point Road in Haliburton County.
The SIU are investigating a police-involved shooting along Indian Point Road in Haliburton County. Dan Nyznik/Global News Peterborough