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When police officers are involved in incidents where someone has been seriously injured, dies or alleges sexual assault, the Special Investigations Unit has the statutory mandate to conduct independent investigations to determine whether a criminal offence took place.
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Fatal police-involved shooting started with assault call ove

Fri Jul 17, 2020 5:28 am

Fatal police-involved shooting started with assault call over mask at Ontario grocery store: OPP

The province’s police watchdog is investigating a fatal police-involved shooting in Haliburton County that started with a report about a man who was refusing to wear a mask at a grocery store.

The incident started at a Valu-mart on Highway 35 in the township of Minden, and ended around 40 kilometres away near a residence on Indian Point Road, east of the Village of Haliburton.

Ontario Provincial Police said that officers were called to the grocery store at around 8 a.m. following a report that there was a man who was refusing to wear a mask and had assaulted several people at the store.

“He refused to wear a mask at the store. He was refused service and the assault happened thereafter. So our people became involved with that initial assault investigation and follow-up,” OPP Sgt. Jason Folz said.

According to the Special Investigations Unit (SIU), which has invoked its mandate, the man left the store and was followed for a short period of time by an officer.

Using the vehicle’s licence plate, officers tracked the man to a home on Indian Point Road.

“Officers attended there, where shots were fired. Additional OPP resources were brought in and ultimately a 73-year-old male was transported to hospital, where he died,” Folz said.

According to the SIU, two officers fired their guns.

The man was rushed to hospital where he was pronounced dead at 11:47 a.m., the SIU said.

Images from the scene in Minden show the grocery store surrounded by yellow police tape.

Folz said the man who died was from theHaliburton area.

There is a heavy police presence on Indian Point Road, but OPP said that there is no concern for public safety.

Investigators are not currently looking for anyone else in connection with the incident.

Police are asking residents to avoid the area of Indian Point Road.

Four investigators and two forensic investigators have now been assigned to look into the case.

The SIU is an arm’s length provincial agency called in to investigate whenever police are involved in a death, serious injury, or allegations of sexual assault.

Anyone with information about the incident is being asked to contact the SIU.

https://www.cp24.com/news/fatal-police- ... -1.5025475

Man who was shot and killed by police earlier assaulted Mind

Fri Jul 17, 2020 5:40 am

Man who was shot and killed by police earlier assaulted Minden grocery store worker after refusing to wear mask, OPP says

The province’s police watchdog has invoked its mandate after a 73-year-old man was shot and killed by police northeast of Haliburton, shortly after he allegedly assaulted a Minden grocery store employee over a mask dispute.

In an interview with the Star, OPP Sgt. Jason Folz said the worker was cleaning carts outside the store Wednesday morning and attempted to give the man a free mask, which all customers are required to wear, when he was assaulted.

The man then left, driving “dangerously” through the parking lot, Folz said.

“Our units caught up with him on Hwy. 35 and tried to stop him, but that pursuit was discontinued in the interest of public safety,” Folz said.

Excessive speed and wild driving played a part in calling off the chase, Folz said.

The Special Investigations Unit said in a news release that the OPP was notified that a man had “assaulted individuals” at about 9:25 a.m. before leaving the scene. Folz said only one person was attacked.

After abandoning the police chase, “officers made their way to a residence on Indian Point Road,” about a 30-minute drive away, after running the vehicle’s licence plate, the SIU said.

Outside of the man’s residence, the SIU said there was an “interaction” and two officers discharged their firearms, striking the man.

He was transported to hospital where he was pronounced dead shortly before noon, according to the SIU.

SIU spokesperson Monica Hudon told the Star that “understanding what transpired, including whether or not the man was in possession of any weapons, will be part of the SIU’s investigation.”

On Thursday, the SIU confirmed a semi-automatic rifle and a pistol were discovered in the investigation. The firearms belonging to two police officers have also been “secured,” they said.

Four investigators and three forensic investigators have been assigned to the case so far, the police watchdog said in the release. Investigators have yet to locate the man’s family.

Four officers with the OPP have been called on as witnesses in the investigation.

Linda Easton, the owner of Easton’s Valu-mart, told the Star that she was proud of her staff for “mitigating a bad situation.”

“I want to say how great staff are in grocery stores everywhere during COVID, and that they need a lot more recognition for the services they provide to customers,” Easton said.

“We all need a lot of recognition and we don’t know who comes into our building so I don’t know if we all get that,” Easton said.

Earlier this month, a video went viral that showed a man at a T&T grocery store in Mississauga shouting racist insults at employees after he was asked to wear a mask.

Easton said she didn’t want to comment on the events that unfolded after the incident at her store.

“What happened here is one thing, but what transpired after is a whole different story,” Easton said.

The OPP Association said on Twitter that they couldn’t comment on the specifics of the investigation.

“Our Ontario Provincial Police Association representatives are engaged with our members at this time,” reads their message. “In all traumatic situations involving police we are concerned for the well being of all affected.”

The Special Investigations Unit is an arm’s-length agency that investigates reports involving police where there has been death, serious injury or allegations of sexual assault.

The SIU is urging anyone who may have information about this investigation to contact the lead investigator at 1-800-787-8529. The SIU is also urging anyone who may have any video evidence related to this incident to upload that video through the agency’s website.

https://www.stcatharinesstandard.ca/ts/ ... -says.html

Neighbour remembers 73-year-old shot dead by OPP after mask

Fri Jul 17, 2020 5:41 am

Neighbour remembers 73-year-old shot dead by OPP after mask dispute as 'a very reclusive man'

A neighbour of the 73-year-old man who was fatally shot by Ontario Provincial Police officers in Haliburton County on Wednesday morning says the victim lived in the area for several years but didn't seem to have any friends.

CBC News has confirmed the victim's identification, but is waiting for police to name him after they notify his next of kin.

The OPP said the man had refused to wear a mask and allegedly assaulted a grocery store employee before driving away. He was later shot dead in a confrontation with officers near his home. The province's police watchdog, the Special Investigations Unit (SIU), is now on the case.

"He was a very reclusive man. He's been here, I'd say, between eight to 10 years," Garfield Munshaw told CBC News.

"He built a big new house, will not have nothing to do with anybody … He won't even speak. He's just very much to himself, doesn't want anybody around, you know. He had big no trespassing signs.

"He's a strange, strange man," he added.

"You never see anybody there; he's always by himself. Nobody ever goes there. He lives by himself and it was strange."

'He doesn't bother anybody'

After neighbours got to know the man "everybody just let him do his thing," Munshaw said.

"He doesn't bother anybody, so just leave him alone, but yeah, it was kind of a strange thing when we heard that yesterday. I'll tell you," he said, referring to the shooting.

Police were called to a Valu-Mart in Minden, Ont., just after 8 a.m. on Wednesday, OPP Sgt. Jason Folz said.

Officers spotted the man's car and tried to stop it, but they refrained "in the interest of public safety" before doing a follow-up investigation, Folz said.

According to the SIU, the man drove away, and an officer saw the car and started following it for a short while. Based on the licence plate, officers made their way to a home on Indian Point Road.

Outside the home there was an "interaction," and two police officers fired their guns, the SIU said.

Folz said that after shots were fired, "additional resources" were brought to the area near Eagle Lake, by the village of Haliburton, about 215 kilometres northeast of Toronto.

The man was shot and taken to hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 11:47 a.m., the SIU said.

'I heard a couple high-powered gunshots'

Munshaw described the area as "very quiet," adding that everybody has big acreages.

"It's a quiet place and everybody's ... like a family ... Everybody's there to help everybody else and that's the way we are. Most of us are retired down here too," he said.

Munshaw said the peace and tranquility was disturbed by the sound of gunshots.

"I heard a couple high-powered gunshots. My grandson lives with me for the summer ... and he said, 'Boy, they were high-powered rifles, Pa,'" Munshaw explained.

He said he got into his car and drove down the driveway to see what was happening and saw heavily armed police officers.

"One cop come over to me and said, 'Just go back in your house and lock the door, we've got an active shooter,' and that's what we did," Munshaw said.

"We got back in the house and about 15-20 minutes later I heard a barrage of bullets. I heard a number of bullets and my grandson said … 'That guy would definitely be down,' and sure enough, he was right."

Post-mortem to be conducted Friday morning

In a news release issued Thursday morning, the SIU said investigators had recovered a pistol and a semi-automatic rifle from the scene. The firearms of two police officers were also taken into evidence, the agency said.

Investigators continued to search the scene Thursday, the SIU said, and were also making attempts to locate the man's next of kin.

A post-mortem examination is set to be conducted Friday morning. Four OPP officers have been designated witnesses to the shooting, and arrangements for interviews are underway, the SIU said.

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/ ... -1.5653135

SIU recover guns after man, 73, fatally shot by OPP in wake

Fri Jul 17, 2020 5:42 am

SIU recover guns after man, 73, fatally shot by OPP in wake of mask dispute

The province’s Special Investigations Unit have recovered two guns from the scene where a 73-year-old man was shot by provincial police Wednesday in Haliburton County.

Spokesperson Monica Hudon said Thursday a semi-automatic rifle and a pistol were found at the scene at Indian Point Rd. — about 215 kilometres northeast of Toronto — where officers had an “interaction” with the man outside the home and shot him.

The SIU says Ontario Provincial Police learned that a man had been inside Easton’s Valu-Mart on Hwy. 35 in Minden at about 9:25 a.m. and had allegedly been assaulting people. After the man left the grocery store, officers recognized his car and plate and followed it.

“Outside the residence, there was an interaction with the man and two officers discharged their firearms,” the SIU said in a statement. “The man was struck.”

He was rushed to hospital and pronounced dead shortly around 11:47 a.m.

According to witnesses in media reports, the man allegedly assaulted a store worker after he refused to wear a face mask before entering the shop and allegedly crashed his vehicle into the store, nearly hitting several employees in the parking lot before driving away.

Police closed Harburn Rd., north of Haliburton, and as the scene was unfolding, asked residents and cottagers in the surrounding Drake Lake and Eagle Lake areas to stay inside and keep their doors locked.

Central Region OPP Sgt. Jason Folz tweeted Wednesday afternoon following the shooting that there was no longer a public safety threat for those in the area, but to stay away from Indian Point Rd. as police continued to investigate.

OPP released a statement later that evening that noted after shots were fired at the Indian Point Rd. address, it caused “responding police to request additional officers.”

Police said the elderly man was from the Eagle Lake area.

Tianna Frances told CBC she arrived at Valu-Mart for her shift shortly after police were called. She was told the man didn’t want to put on a mask, which is a policy requirement issued by the Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit that came into effect at 12:01 a.m. Monday.

“I guess he just got angry and didn’t want to. We couldn’t really deal with that ourselves because it’s really against the rules. So we had to call the police and everything,” Frances told CBC, adding it shouldn’t be up to staff to enforce the policy.

“If we didn’t have to force him and … tell him that he couldn’t come into the store, nothing would have happened, really. He would have got his groceries and went along with his day.”

Lynda Easton, the owner of that Valu-Mart location, when the man said he didn’t want to wear a mask, “he just started pounding on my employee,” she told The Minden Times.

“My staff got together and tried to escort him out the door,” she told the outlet. “He was speeding away, and hit a truck, turning it sideways.”

Easton also thanked her staff.

“All I want to say, I want to give credit to my staff, who were very competent in handling the situation,” she said. “They were the real heroes in this situation. I want to give credit to all grocery store workers, who are faced with interactions every day with challenging people.”

Hudon said investigators continue to reach the man’s next-of-kin. His name has not been released.

“The scene was searched yesterday, and those efforts will continue today,” she said. “The firearms of two police officers were also secured.”

An autopsy is scheduled for Friday morning.

Four investigators and three forensic investigators from the SIU have been assigned to the case. Four OPP officers have been designated as witness officers. Arrangements for interview are underway.

The SIU is automatically called in to investigate reports involving police where there has been death, serious injury or allegations of sexual assault.

Anyone who may have information or who has video footage of the incident is asked to call the lead investigator at 1-800-787-8529.

https://www.thewhig.com/news/provincial ... 3535cde9da
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