No charges after Ottawa police officer shoots a man armed with a sword. SIU says

Ottawa police on the scene of an incident on Montreal Road during which a man armed with a sword was shot by an Ottawa police officer. The province's Special Investigations Unit has invoked its mandate to investigate. April 4, 2021. (Mike Mersereau / CTV News Ottawa)

Ontario’s police watchdog has cleared an Ottawa police officer of wrongdoing in a shooting incident this spring.

The Special Investigations Unit launched an investigation into a police-involved shooting on April 4, resulting in serious injuries to a 28-year-old man.

The SIU said officers were called to the area of Montreal Road and Ogilvie Road on April 4 after an individual called 911 to report a man was walking around in possession of a sword.

The SIU said officers located the person of interest, an interaction ensued, “and one officer discharged his firearm at the man.”

The man was treated in hospital for serious injuries.

On Friday, the SIU announced there will be no charges in relation to the shooting. SIU Director Joseph Martino concluded there are “no reasonable grounds to believe that the officer committed a criminal offence in connection with the shooting.”

The SIU said the 28-year-old victim declined to be interviewed as part of the investigation.

In the report, the SIU said at one point during the interaction, the victim was swinging his sword forcefully at the driver’s door of an officer’s cruiser, “who was fortune to have escaped injury when the blow failed to break the window.”

The report noted officers also reported the individual was swinging the knife and refused to drop it.

The SIU report added less than a minute after the subject officer (SO) exited his cruiser, “the complainant (victim) turned and began to run in his direction.”

“The parties were separated by about 15 to 20 metres at this point. The officer yelled at the complainant not to ‘do it’ and to ‘stop’ as he backtracked several metres in a southeast direction toward the entrance of the Popeyes,” said the SIU on the incident narrative.

“When the Complainant neared to within two to three metres of the officer, the SO discharged his firearm four times in quick succession.”

In its decision, Martino said, “I am satisfied that (subject officer) did not fire his gun other than as a last resort and in the reasonable belief that it was necessary to do so to protect himself from an imminent risk of grievous bodily harm or death.

“There can be no doubt that the officer was confronted with a potentially lethal weapon in the hands of a man willing and able to use it.”