The SIU investigation into the circumstances of an incident that resulted in the deaths of a one-year-old boy and his 33-year-old father is ongoing. Both sustained gunshot wounds on November 26, 2020 in the City of Kawartha Lakes in the course of an interaction between the father and Ontario Provincial Police officers. The child was pronounced deceased at the scene, and the father succumbed to his injuries almost one week later.
From the scene, two police-issued rifles and one police-issued pistol were collected. A pistol was also located in the pickup truck occupied by the boy and his father. All four firearms and a number of spent cartridge cases are with the Centre of Forensic Sciences (CFS) for examination.
The Pickup Truck
The CFS has completed its initial trajectory analysis of the pickup truck and the SIU awaits its report. The pickup truck was recently released to the SIU, and SIU forensic investigators have commenced a further search for evidence.
A post-mortem of the child was conducted on November 28, 2020 and of the father on December 4, 2020. The SIU awaits the Reports of Postmortem Examinations.
To date, 18 witness officers and 14 civilian witnesses have been interviewed. The three subject officers, who were designated as such on the basis of information that they each discharged their firearm in the course of the incident, have not as yet availed themselves of an opportunity to be interviewed. Subject officers are under no legal obligation to speak with the SIU but may if they choose to do so.
Understandably, there is a pressing public interest in this case, including how the child died and whether it was gunfire from the father or OPP officers that caused the death. The SIU is working to make these determinations. In so doing, it is imperative that best investigative practices be strictly adhered to, including the sequencing of various forensic examinations in the proper order.
The SIU is an independent government agency that investigates the conduct of officials (police officers as well as special constables with the Niagara Parks Commission and peace officers with the Legislative Protective Service) that may have resulted in death, serious injury, sexual assault and/or the discharge of a firearm at a person. All investigations are conducted by SIU investigators who are civilians. Under the Special Investigations Unit Act, the Director of the SIU must
- consider whether the official has committed a criminal offence in connection with the incident under investigation
- depending on the evidence, cause a criminal charge to be laid against the official where grounds exist for doing so, or close the file without any charges being laid
- publicly report the results of its investigations