Ontario’s police watchdog has cleared two Niagara police officers involved in an early September shooting death of a man at a Port Colborne, Ont., apartment complex.
The Special Investigations Unit (SIU) says the police action Sept. 4 at a suite located near Main Street West and Canal Bank Road “constituted reasonable force.”
The incident began just after 9 a.m. when a resident got into a confrontation with a neighbour regarding noise and his neighbour threatened him with a knife.
After the man with the knife barricaded himself in his apartment, an emergency task unit (ETU) and negotiator were dispatched to the scene, where attempts were made to resolve the matter safely.
The shooting was the result of execution of a warrant around 2 p.m. when ETU officers were instructed to enter the man’s unit in the hopes of taking him into custody.
An officer would discharge his firearm when initial ETU efforts to subdue the suspect, including the use of Taser-like weapons, were unsuccessful.
“There was in the moment a need to immediately incapacitate the complainant to prevent the risk of harm,” SIU director Joseph Martino said in his report characterizing the encounter as “lethal danger.”
The man was taken to hospital and later pronounced dead.
A post-mortem two days later revealed a single gunshot wound on the right side of the man’s neck was the cause of his death.