Shoot­ing jus­ti­fied

In­de­pen­dent re­view finds Char­lot­te­town po­lice of­fi­cer faced ‘clear threat to his life’

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - FRONT PAGE - BY JIM DAY THE GUARDIAN

He told po­lice he failed in three at­tempts at tak­ing his life, be­fore count­ing on them to shoot and kill him.

The 17-year-old Char­lot­te­town res­i­dent had first thought about rob­bing a con­ve­nience store with a gun, wait­ing for po­lice to ar­rive, then point­ing his gun at po­lice in hopes of get­ting shot.

He did not be­cause he did not want to trau­ma­tize the clerk, re­veals a re­port re­leased Thurs­day by Nova Sco­tia’s In­de­pen­dent Se­ri­ous In­ci­dent Re­sponse Team (SiRT).

So he called 911 shortly af­ter 4:30 p.m. on April 3 with a con­cocted story that he had just seen one male shoot another in the park­ing lot of the Char­lot­te­town Mall.

The call was re­ferred to the Char­lot­te­town Po­lice Ser­vices.

The first of­fi­cer to ar­rive had with him an un­armed male At­lantic Po­lice Academy cadet.

No vic­tim was found at the mall, but both men ob­served a young man, dressed in a red hoodie and a black mask, with a gun.

The armed of­fi­cer drew his gun and or­dered the young man to drop his gun and other weapons. The teen had a knife at­tached to brass knuck­les in one hand, and a gun in the other.

Two con­cealed knives would later be found on the teenager, along with a weapon’s vest. The gun turned out to be an air pel­let gun, but looked like any po­ten­tially deadly pis­tol firearm, the re­port noted.

The sus­pect re­mained be­hind a large dump­ster for about four min­utes as many other of­fi­cers ar­rived.

He then be­gan to walk to­ward the first of­fi­cer and the un­armed cadet. He ig­nored com­mands from sev­eral of­fi­cers.

When he got within 15 me­tres of the first of­fi­cer, the of­fi­cer fired three shots, two of which struck the sus­pect.

The teen, suf­fer­ing a mi­nor in­jury to his hand and a wound through his in­ner up­per left thigh, was ar­rested.

The re­port de­ter­mined there are no grounds to con­sider any charges against the of­fi­cer who shot the teen.

The of­fi­cer’s de­ci­sion to shoot the armed teen was plainly jus­ti­fied, the 15-page re­port con­cluded.

The of­fi­cer faced “what was a clear threat to his life and the lives of oth­ers,’’ the re­port stated, adding that the of­fi­cer’s de­ci­sion to wait to shoot un­til the teen was only 15 me­tres away demon­strated re­straint.

The teenager en­tered guilty pleas July 3 in youth court to a num­ber of weapons-re­lated charges.

The mat­ter re­turns to court July 20, at which time a date will be fixed for sen­tence. The court will also be up­dated at that time about a psy­cho­log­i­cal as­sess­ment.

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