The province’s Special Investigations unit has cleared a Hamilton Police officer who fired a shot at an armed fugitive and missed.
The narrative began at about midnight of September 8, 2022, the armed individual was being chased on foot by a HPS officer. The officer had come across the man in the vicinity of the Canadian Tire gas station at Main Street East and Victoria Avenue South, and recognized him as being wanted in relation to a series of firearm-related offences. While being chased in the direction of East Avenue the fugitive pulled a pistol from his waistband – a Glock – on East Avenue South and stuck it in his mouth, saying he would shoot himself.
The officer called for backup and continued the chase to a nearby parking lot, where a standoff ensued as approximately 10 more officers arrived on the scene with guns drawn.
According to the SIU account, “The Complainant paced in the parking lot telling the officers he would shoot himself and refused to go back to jail. He held the pistol in his right hand, intermittently moving it from inside his mouth to the side of his head, and refused all entreaties that he drop the weapon.”
After some unsuccessful negotiations an officer fired his taser at the suspect and then an officer fired his gun and missed. The initial tasing didn’t work but an ensuing volley of taser deployments did. Officers moved in on the stricken man, grabbed the gun and cuffed him.
The SIU ruled that the officer who fired his Glock pistol was justified, given the erratic behavior of the suspect who was waving his gun around as well as pointing it at himself.