The Director of Criminal Prosecutions announced last Thursday that it will not pursue any charges after the report by the Bureau of independent investigations (BEI) following an incident where a man was shot and injured by police officers in D.D.O. on February 25, 2018.
On that date, a man stole a vehicle from the parking lot of a hospital. At approximately 9:40 p.m., police found the stolen vehicle in the parking lot of a shopping centre located on the corner of Sources Boul. and Highway 40 in D.D.O. At around 10:00 p.m., officers surrounded and approached the stolen vehicle. An officer noticed that the suspect was inside the vehicle with the driver’s seat lowered. Another officer made eye contact with the man and yelled out “police.” The man then straightened the driver’s seat and set the vehicle in motion at which point he began to drive quickly around the parking lot of the shopping center “zigzagging between the patrol vehicles in order to find a way out.”
According to officers who were at the scene, several patrol cars tried to immobilize the vehicle and wedge it against snow banks —however, the driver managed to turn around several times while looking for a way out. The suspect was driving rapidly and dangerously. An officer shot at the vehicle, when he realized that the driver was heading the vehicle directly towards him. The bullet reached the windshield without shattering the window. The same officer fired a second shot and reached the passenger side of the vehicle, which sped towards him a second time. A third shot hit the driver’s window. None of the hits had any effect on the driver’s behaviour.
A police cruiser collided head-on with the fugitive’s vehicle. Officers exited their patrol car and pointed their weapons at the suspect. At the same time, three patrol vehicles synchronized to surround the man’s vehicle in order to prevent his escape. A police officer ordered him to stop and surrender. The suspect did not comply; instead he crashed the stolen vehicle into patrol cars. Another officer got out of his vehicle with his taser and attempted to smash the window of the vehicle at which point the driver then sped in his direction. The officer barely had time to lift his legs to avoid being hit.
Another officer pointed his gun at the suspect and ordered him to stop the vehicle and put his hands in the air. The man did not comply. Believing his colleague was under the vehicle, the officer, once again, ordered the man to stop. The officer fired two shots at the door of the vehicle. The driver continued to crash into patrol vehicles and nearby officers. Another officer shot at the rear side door of the vehicle as the driver turned the vehicle towards several officers who, at that point, were on foot. Despite gunshot wounds to his arm and thigh, the driver managed to escape by taking Highway 40 westbound. After a 33-kilometre chase, police cars hit the vehicle driven by the suspect and put an end to his escape.
During his arrest, the suspect resisted and an officer used an electric pulse weapon to subdue him and proceeded to handcuff him. The arrested suspect was taken to a hospital to treat his injuries.
The examination of the investigation report prepared by the BEI was entrusted to a committee made up of two prosecutors who conducted a full examination of the evidence to assess whether or not it revealed the commission of criminal offenses.
The DCPC concluded that the analysis of the evidence related to the incident revealed that the actions taken by the SPVM police officers who were involved did not constitute criminal offences.