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Investigation concluded: less than lethal weapon deescalates potentially lethal situ

In February 2020, the Independent Investigation Unit (IIU) concluded its investigation into the injury of a 36-year-old man during his arrest by RCMP in The Pas. The man was injured by a projectile from a “less lethal” firearm.

The final report of the IIU regarding the February arrest of the man from The Pas was not released as the affected person (AP) had charges pending before the courts as a result of the incident. Those charges have now been disposed and the IIU final report is now available. A summary of the report follows here.

The RCMP informed the IIU of the incident saying that on July 30th, 2019 at 5:28 am, RCMP were dispatched to an unknown situation in The Pas, where the caller said that he was going to die tonight. The 911 operator asked the man if he needed the police or an ambulance and his response was "whoever's got guns."

As officers arrived at the scene they heard the sound of a firearm being loaded and saw the AP carrying a firearm. He did not respond to police requests and repeatedly yelled at the police to “Shoot me! Shoot me!” He repeatedly held his firearm pointed to his head or under his chin.  An officer trained in the use of an extended range impact weapon (ERIW) was called to the scene. An ERIW is a police intervention tool and firearm that discharges a 40mm low velocity sponge projectile round. It is intended as a less lethal use of force option.

Three hours after the incident began, AP approached the gate with his hands in the air as directed by police. AP then closed the gate and put his hands in his pockets. Police officers shouted commands at AP to show his hands, which he ignored. Police officers believed AP might have concealed weapons on his person. As a result, SO deployed the ERIW, firing once and striking AP in the chest. AP ran back into the house.

Shortly after 10:00 a.m., AP exited the residence and was apprehended without further incident. The RCMP seized two .22 rifles and one 12-gauge shotgun. He was taken to The Pas RCMP detachment and provided medical attention for his chest injury.

After interviewing everyone who witnessed the scene IIU determined that on careful review of the available evidence and material facts obtained in this investigation there are no reasonable grounds to believe that the officer exceeded the use of justifiable force. In summary, a less lethal force option deescalated a potentially lethal situation.

No charges will be authorized against the officer.

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