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