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Manitoba police watchdog clears Winnipeg officer in man’s shooting at Siloam Mission

The IIU has cleared an officer who shot a suspect during an alleged assault near Siloam Mission in Winnipeg in January. Arsalan Saeed / Global News

Manitoba’s police watchdog is not recommending charges against a city police officer who shot a man following an alleged assault at Siloam Mission.

Police have said officers were called to the Princess Street shelter’s parking lot around 11 p.m. on Jan. 29, where two men were fighting.

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In a release at the time, police said officers saw an assault in progress and shot one of the men, who they described as a “non-compliant suspect.”

The suspect, a man in his 20s, was shot in the head and the hip, the Independent Investigation Unit (IIU) now says.

He was rushed to hospital in unstable condition where he was later upgraded to stable condition.

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Click to play video: 'Police watchdog investigating officer shooting after man dies in hospital'
Police watchdog investigating officer shooting after man dies in hospital

The victim, a man in his 40s, who had been stabbed, was also rushed to hospital in unstable condition and ultimately survived.

The IIU announced an investigation into the shooting a few days later.

In a release Tuesday the watchdog said IIU investigators spoke with the officer who fired the shots, four other officers who were at the scene, and three civilian witnesses, including a firefighter.

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They say investigators attempted to speak with the man who was shot, but say he was not able to take part in interviews due to “his level of competency.”

The investigation also relied on video surveillance recordings, medical reports, audio from police communications, as well as police and forensic reports, the IIU said.

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The IIU says its investigation found the man who was shot had been swinging a knife towards an officer when another officer shot him.

Click to play video: 'Winnipeg police involved in Point Douglas-area shooting'
Winnipeg police involved in Point Douglas-area shooting

“Fearing that the affected person could have delivered a potentially lethal injury, the subject officer discharged his service pistol, striking the affected person several times,” the IIU said in a written statement.

“The civilian director concluded that no reasonable grounds exist to charge the subject officer, and no charges will be authorized against him.

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“Accordingly, the IIU has completed its investigation and the matter is now closed.”

The IIU says the full civilian report into the investigation will be made public once charges stemming from the incident have made their way through the courts.

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