Ontario’s Special Investigations Unit says the three OPP officers designated as subject officers in a civilian shooting investigation last month have yet to be interviewed and can choose to decline to speak to investigators.
The SIU says on Nov. 26 the officers discharged their firearms on a man along Pigeon Lake Road just east of Lindsay. OPP allege the man earlier used a firearm to abduct his one-year-old son from a home in neighbouring Trent Lakes and a police pursuit ensued.
The SIU’s early investigation says the man’s pickup truck hit an OPP cruiser, a civilian vehicle, and a police officer who was setting up a spike belt on the road.
Three officers shot and injured the 33-year-old man who died in hospital on Dec. 2, the SIU report says. The man’s baby boy was found in the pickup truck with a “fatal gunshot wound,” the SIU have reported.
On Thursday evening, the SIU told Global News that the three subject officers have not been interviewed and can choose to decline to speak to investigators.
“Pursuant to legislation, subject officers cannot be legally compelled to present themselves for an interview with the SIU and they do not have to submit their notes to the SIU,” said SIU spokesperson Monica Hudon.
Hudon says that to date, 14 witness officers and five civilian witnesses have been interviewed as part of the investigation.
The man’s pickup truck is being examined at the Centre of Forensic Sciences.
“SIU investigators are currently in the process of preparing the police-issued firearms for CFS examination,” Hudon says.
On Friday, Hudon added that it wasn’t possible to give timelines for when the investigation may wrap up.
“The length of time might be impacted by factors such as how long it took to conduct interviews and/or gather and analyze evidence,” she said. “While the SIU recognizes it is important to resolve cases in a timely manner, the thoroughness of the investigation must take precedence over the length of time it takes to finish an investigation.”
The injured officer, who was transported to Sunnybrook Hospital in Toronto, on Wednesday night was transferred to Peterborough Regional Health Centre where he remains in stable condition, the Ontario Provincial Police Association said.