SIU Clears Peel Officer in Mississauga Shooting

By: Jason Miller, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Toronto Star
The provincial body charged with investigating police has cleared a Peel officer of criminal wrongdoing for the shooting of a man who went on a “violent rampage” in Mississauga last May, seriously injuring several people.
In a written decision released Friday, Special Investigations Unit (SIU) director Joseph Martino said the man was suffering from a psychotic episode at the time of the “harrowing events,” during which he attacked and seriously wounded three residents of the Holden Crescent homes he had broken into the morning of May 2, 2020.
Martino wrote: “There are no reasonable grounds to believe that she and the other officers involved in the (man’s) apprehension acted other than lawfully.”
Police were called to the scene after reports of a homicide in the area when they confronted the man in the backyard of a semi-detached home at about 9:29 a.m.
A female Peel officer shot the man in the leg after he emerged from a garden shed holding a large serrated knife in his right hand and bleeding from lacerations to the neck.
The officer had reasonable grounds to preserve herself and her fellow officer from the potential of death or grievous bodily harm, Martino wrote.
“There can be no doubt that the (man) was intent on doing harm to the officers with the knife,” the SIU report said. “When he was not using it to cut himself, the man pointed it at the (subject officer) while yelling that the officer would have to shoot him. Retreat was not an option.”
As is her legal right, the female officer declined to be interviewed by the SIU and did not release her incident notes.
The SIU report said the man had been involved in a motor vehicle collision in the intersection of Cawthra and Burnhamthorpe Roads before embarking on a “violent rampage” through the Holden Crescent neighbourhood.
According to the report, the man broke into a home and attacked one of the homeowners with a knife, before next attacking the man’s wife, causing her serious injuries. She was able to escape and make her way to her son’s house and call police, telling them the man had “killed her husband.”
The SIU said the man’s rampage continued in the backyard of the adjoining home on Holden Crescent, where he attacked another civilian with a knife, causing serious injuries.
Police were told that the accused had entered a shed in the second home’s backyard. Two officers, including the female subject officer, went to the rear of the residence and attempted to open the shed door.
The man began to repeatedly shout words to the effect of, “They’re trying to kill me. You’re going to have to kill me,” the SIU report states.
After the man walked out the the shed, covered in blood and holding the knife, the male officer shot him with a Taser, but he remained standing.
The man told the officers he had escaped from a hospital where staff had tried to kill him and yelled that the officers had to kill him, the SIU report said. The officers walked backward away from the man while ordering him to drop the knife and stop his advance.
The man walked toward the female officer and she fired when he came within three metres, the reports said. She fired her weapon three times in rapid succession, hitting him in his right leg.
After the man was handcuffed, the officers then entered the shed where they found a maimed civilian on the ground, covered in blood and seriously injured.