Gunsmith’s family launches lawsuit against Toronto police over shooting death

The family of 70-year-old Rodger Kotanko say they are looking for answers from the SIU and Toronto Police Service after the Port Dover gunsmith died during an interaction with officers serving a warrant on Nov. 3. Image supplied to Global News

The family of a gunsmith who was shot and killed by Toronto police has launched a lawsuit against the force, seeking $23 million in damages in his death.

Rodger Kotanko’s family alleges police used excessive force and unlawfully executed a search warrant when they raided the 70-year-old’s home on Nov. 3, 2021, in Port Dover, Ont.

The Special Investigations Unit is investigating Kotanko’s death.

Breaking news from Canada and around the world sent to your email, as it happens.

The provincial police watchdog says a Toronto police officer shot and killed Kotanko that November day.

Toronto police did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The family’s lawsuit alleges police used excessive force when they raided Kotanko’s gunsmith shop on his property and fired at him. It also alleges police did not show anyone the search warrant that day.

Story continues below advertisement

“What happened to Rodger should never have happened and the family is broken,” said Michael Smitiuch, the family’s lawyer.

“Unfortunately, Rodger was killed during the raid, so he can’t defend himself, but the family will do that and they will defend his reputation.”

Sponsored content