SIU clear city police in man's death 0
SEAN CHASE The Pembroke police service has been cleared of the shooting death of a 58-year-old man at Mackenzie Heights in July.
The SIU has found the Pembroke police to be blameless in connection to the death of a man in July.
The independent agency has wrapped up its investigation into the circumstances surrounding the July 17, 2012 shooting death of a 58-year-old man, which occurred shortly after police responded to an emergency medical services call at the McKenzie Heights apartment complex, which is the former Hillcrest Public School building.
Ian Scott, the director of the Special Investigations Unit, concluded there are no reasonable grounds to charge an officer with the Pembroke Police Service with any criminal offence in relation to the death of the man, which happened as a result of suicide.
The SIU, an independent agency called in to investigate incidents of sexual assault, serious injuries or death involving the police, was called in by the Pembroke Police Service following the incident at the apartment complex.
On July 17 of this year, city police responded to an emergency medical services call at McKenzie Heights around 10:20 a.m. According to a statement issued by the SIU at the time, the call was regarding a 58-year-old male suffering from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
Upon their arrival, officers observed a man carrying a firearm. The officers identified themselves to the man, however, a short time later he was pronounced dead at the scene.
The SIU assigned three investigators and three forensic investigators to probe the circumstances of the incident, and as part of that, two officers and two civilians who witnessed it were interviewed. The subject officer was also interviewed and provided copies of his duty notes to the SIU.
The investigation stated in their report that the morning’s event unfolded as follows:
On the morning of Tuesday, July 17, the subject officer was dispatched to assist paramedics at McKenzie Heights to deal with an individual who had shot himself and was walking around with a long gun. The officer arrived at the scene and walked around the apartment building with two other officers. The subject officer had his handgun drawn.
The three officers had walked a short distance when the individual they were seeking came out of an apartment unit with a rifle in his hands. He was bleeding from a wound in his head.
The officers commanded him to drop the weapon, but instead of doing so, the man walked to a wooden stool which was situated on the lawn, sat down, placed the barrel of the rifle under his chin and pulled the trigger.
Paramedics attempted to revive him but he died at the scene.
The investigation discovered later the man had left a note and a voice mail message that made it clear he intended to commit suicide.
“In my view, the most reasonable inference to draw from this investigation is that the man attempted to commit suicide by shooting himself in the head outside of the apartment in which he resided,” the SIU director said.
“This first shot did not incapacitate him and he remained ambulatory. He went to the door of a neighbouring apartment unit to obtain the occupant’s attention, but was unsuccessful. The man wandered around outside the two units, returned to his apartment and exited as the officers arrived on the scene. He then shot himself again.”
“On this analysis, there is no suggestion that the subject officer was in any way responsible for the man’s unfortunate demise,” Mr. Scott stated.
Neither the officer nor the deceased were identified.
(With files from Sean Chase)
Stephen Uhler is a Daily Observer multimedia journalist