A man has died after police officers responded to a distress call near Peterborough on Monday night. The province’s police watchdog, the Special Investigations Unit (SIU), is investigating the incident.
What happened on Monday night?
According to the SIU, around 9:30 p.m. on Monday, the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) received a call from a man who said he was in distress and needed help. The man gave his location as a rural property on Highway 7, east of Peterborough.
The OPP officers arrived at the scene and located the man inside a vehicle. The SIU said the officers had an interaction with the man, during which one of the officers discharged his firearm. The man was struck and pronounced dead at the scene.
Who was the man and why did he call the police?
The identity of the man has not been released by the SIU or the OPP. The SIU said it is still working to notify the man’s next of kin.
The reason why the man called the police and what kind of distress he was in is also unknown at this point. The SIU said it is still investigating the circumstances of the incident and the nature of the interaction between the man and the officers.
What is the role of the SIU and what are they doing?
The SIU is an independent civilian agency that investigates incidents involving police officers that result in death, serious injury, or allegations of sexual assault. The SIU has the power to lay criminal charges against police officers if there are reasonable grounds to do so.
The SIU has assigned five investigators and three forensic investigators to probe the incident near Peterborough. The SIU is also appealing for anyone who may have information about the incident to contact them at 1-800-787-8529. The SIU said it will provide further updates as the investigation progresses.
How are the police and the community reacting to the incident?
The OPP said they are cooperating with the SIU investigation and will not comment further on the incident. The OPP also said they are providing support to the officers involved and their families.
The incident has shocked and saddened the community near Peterborough, where the man lived. Some residents said they heard gunshots and sirens on Monday night, but did not know what happened until the next day. They said they are waiting for more details and answers from the SIU and the police.