Ontario’s police watchdog continues to investigate the police-involved shooting in the City of Kawartha Lakes in late November that resulted in the death of an infant and his father and injured an OPP officer.
On Friday, the Special Investigations Unit provided an update on its investigation into the Nov. 26 incident east of Lindsay. The SIU says on that morning, OPP were responding to reports of an alleged abduction of a one-year-old boy by his 33-year-old father from a home in the neighbouring Municipality of Trent Lakes.
According to OPP, Peterborough County OPP officers responded to a call for a domestic dispute involving a firearm at a Trent Lakes home about 10 kilometres northeast of the village of Bobcaygeon.
The father allegedly took the infant and fled in a pickup truck and OPP pursued it. The SIU says a short time later the truck collided with an OPP cruiser and a civilian vehicle on Pigeon Lake Road, just east of Lindsay. During that time the SIU says there was an “altercation” between police and the suspect.
The SIU said the boy was pronounced deceased at the scene and his father was taken to hospital. Both had sustained gunshot wounds, the SIU reported. The SIU says three OPP officers discharged their firearms at the man and struck him.
An OPP officer was transported to Sunnybrook Hospital in Toronto with serious injuries and was returned to Peterborough’s hospital on Dec. 10.
According to the SIU on Friday, to date investigators have interviewed 18 witness officers and 14 civilian witnesses. However, the three officers who discharged their firearms have yet to be interviewed.
“The three subject officers, who were designated as such on the basis of information that they each discharged their firearm in the course of the incident, have not as yet availed themselves of an opportunity to be interviewed,” the SIU stated.
“Subject officers are under no legal obligation to speak with the SIU but may if they choose to do so.”
The SIU also seized two police-issued rifles and one police-issued pistol from the scene. A pistol was also located in the father’s pickup truck.
“All four firearms and a number of spent cartridge cases are with the Centre of Forensic Sciences (CFS) for examination,” the SIU said.
The SIU says it is awaiting the CFS completed initial trajectory analysis of the pickup truck.
“The pickup truck was recently released to the SIU, and SIU forensic investigators have commenced a further search for evidence,” the SIU said.
The SIU says it is still waiting for reports of the post-mortem examinations conducted of the child on Nov. 28, and of the father on Dec. 4.
“Understandably, there is a pressing public interest in this case, including how the child died and whether it was gunfire from the father or OPP officers that caused the death,” the SIU stated. “The SIU is working to make these determinations. In so doing, it is imperative that best investigative practices be strictly adhered to, including the sequencing of various forensic examinations in the proper order.”