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No basis to lay charges against officers in fatal shooting of East Gwillimbury man: SIU

'The scale of the tragedy that unfolded at Ridge Gate Crescent on the day in question was immense,' says SIU director

The Special Investigations Unit (SIU) has determined there is no basis to lay charges against the two York Regional Police officers involved in the fatal shooting of a 37-year-old man in East Gwillimbury last February.

A pregnant woman who had been stabbed was found dead at the front door of the single-family bungalow when officers arrived last Feb. 6, and two children and another woman were injured in the incident.  

York Regional Police began receiving 911 calls at about 2:30 p.m. about a stabbing incident at Ridge Gate Crescent in Mount Albert.

One of the callers reported that his pregnant sister-in-law had been stabbed by her husband, and that his wife, her sister, had been stabbed in the driveway of the house. He said two children, 2 and 4, were in the house with their father, and that his two other children were at a neighbour's house.

Neighbours called reporting that two women were injured in the driveway, a man had a knife and children were in the house.

When officers responded, they knew "the complainant had inflicted lethal wounds on his wife, assaulted his mother, and stabbed his sister and youngest son," the report states. "They also knew that the complainant was still inside the house with his two youngest children. There were ample grounds to seek the complainant’s arrest for any number of serious criminal offences and to apprehend him as quickly as possible to prevent further harm being done to his children."

After seeing the deceased woman lying on the ground at the front door, the two officers forced their way into the residence and saw the man armed with a knife and holding a child with abdominal slash wounds, according to the report by SIU director Joseph Martino.

According to the report, the man asked the officers to shoot him, and he stabbed the second child in the back in their presence.

"The scale of the tragedy that unfolded at Ridge Gate Crescent on the day in question was immense. A family suffered horrific losses and the public was left to come to grips with the magnitude of what had occurred. However, these reasons have focused, as they must, on the conduct of the subject officials. As I am satisfied that (the officers) comported themselves lawfully throughout their encounter with the complainant, there is no basis for proceeding with criminal charges in this case against either officer," Martino said in the report.

The children were transported to Sick Kids Hospital and the woman to Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, where they recovered.

You can read the full report here.

Debora Kelly

About the Author: Debora Kelly

Debora Kelly is NewmarketToday's community editor. She is an award-winning journalist and communications professional who is passionate about building strong communities through engagement, advocacy and partnership.
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