Semi-automatic rifle found at scene of fatal police-involved shooting that started at Ontario grocery store

A semi-automatic rifle and a pistol were found at the scene of 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, Ontario’s police watchdog said.

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. His identity has not been released by officials who say they are continuing to make attempts to locate his next-of-kin.

Folz said the man who died was from the Haliburton area.

A post-mortem is scheduled to be conducted on Friday morning.

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

On Thursday morning, the SIU said a semi-automatic rifle and a pistol were collected as officers searched the scene the day prior. As well, the firearms of two police officers were also secured.

The OPP said that there is no concern for public safety and investigators are not currently looking for anyone else in connection with the incident.

Four investigators and three forensic investigators from the SIU have now been assigned to look into the case. Four OPP officers have been designated as witness officers and arrangements for interviews are underway, the SIU said.

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.

Police are currently investigating a serious criminal matter near the Village of #Haliburton. Currently there is no concerns for public safety. Please remain away from Indian Point Road near Eagle Lake until police complete this investigation. ^jf pic.twitter.com/ecncyluG1W

— OPP Central Region (@OPP_CR) July 15, 2020