Hamilton police shoot and kill teen, SIU investigating
Provincial watchdog called in after officers respond to report of threat in progress
Ontario's police watchdog is investigating after officers in Hamilton shot and killed a man on Tuesday afternoon.
Hamilton police say officers were called to a townhouse complex on the west side of Hamilton Mountain at about 3:30 p.m. ET, by a report of a threat in progress involving a weapon.
Two officers fired their weapons, striking a 19-year-old man, according to the province's Special Investigations Unit (SIU). He was taken to hospital and pronounced dead.
Everyone is having a pretty difficult time handling this. It's sad.— Neighbour Edie Ouellette
SIU spokeperson Monica Hudon told reporters at the scene on Tuesday evening that the agency, which was called in after the shooting, has assigned five investigators and three forensics specialists to the case. She said there were four witness officers.
But Hudon had little other information about what happened. She did not know how long the "interaction" between the man and police lasted before the shots were fired.
"The nature of the interaction is part of the SIU's investigation," she said.
Hudon would not say what weapon the man was carrying, or whether Tasers were used prior to the shooting.
"At this stage of the investigation I'm not prepared to disclose what the weapon was," she said.
Two residents in the neighbourhood — a mix of single-family homes and townhouse complexes — told CBC Hamilton the man had been carrying a knife.
Hudon is asking for witnesses to come forward to report what they saw and heard.
She said the SIU will attempt to interview the officers who fired their weapons, but that they had the right to refuse.
Kara Exley, who lives near the scene said she came home from work to find her street blocked by yellow police tape.
"It's pretty scary," she said.
Lived in the area
Edie Ouellette lives nearby and said she knows the family. She said the victim was from the area.
"From what I understand, he was not a bad kid. Everyone is having a pretty difficult time handling this. It's sad," she said.
The complex where the shooting occurred is owned by the non-profit housing company Victoria Park Community Homes, according to Lori-Anne Gagne, executive director of Victoria Park Management.
Gagne didn't hear or see the incident. But in the four years that she's been executive director said "there hasn't been an incident like this ... so it's very sad to hear."
The SIU is an arm's length agency that investigates police incidents involving death, serious injury or allegations of sexual assault.
Second .<a href="https://twitter.com/siu?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@SIU</a> truck on scene. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/HamOnt?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#HamOnt</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/CBCHamilton?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@CBCHamilton</a> <a href="https://t.co/KckpuPyQNF">pic.twitter.com/KckpuPyQNF</a>—@LauraClementson