Kitchener-Waterloo

SIU clears Guelph police involved in 2015 fatal hospital shooting

Ontario's Special Investigations Unit says no charges will be laid against the two police officers who shot and killed a man inside Guelph General Hospital last spring.

Agency finds shooting 'justifiable' after man quickly approached officers with scissors

The Special Investigations Unit finds no grounds to charge two Guelph police officers after a man was shot to death last May. He was seen attacking a woman with scissors before officers intervened. (Colin Perkel/Canadian Press)

The Special Investigations Unit says no charges will be laid against the two police officers who shot and killed a man inside Guelph General Hospital last spring.

SIU director Tony Loparco says the two officers used reasonable force when Brandon Duncan, 36, was seen brandishing scissors and moving toward the officers on May 20, 2015.

"There are no reasonable grounds, in my view, to believe that either subject officer exceeded the ambit of justifiable force in the circumstances and as a result, no charges will issue," says Loparco. 

Only when there were no other apparent options available did the officers open fire almost simultaneously.- Tony Loparco, SIU director

The SIU notes the man got ahold of bandage scissors when he told a nurse there was an issue with his colostomy bag and something needed to be cut.

He then entered a washroom and emerged with fresh cuts on both of his forearms. 

Officers heard woman screaming

Duncan then approached a young woman and grabbed the back of her neck as he tried to jab her with the scissors before he was interrupted by the woman's boyfriend, the SIU says.

"As soon as the officers entered the scene, they could see an assault in progress involving a man armed with a pair of scissors who was acting in a violent manner."

Officers had heard the woman screaming, according to the SIU. 

"Both officers had backed up down the hallway with their firearms drawn while issuing commands to Mr. Duncan to stop advancing and put down the weapon," Loparco says.

"Despite this, Mr. Duncan continued to quickly close the distance between them with his weapon drawn. Only when there were no other apparent options available did the officers open fire almost simultaneously."

The SIU says a post-mortem examination revealed Duncan was shot six times and died due to gunshot wounds.

Because Loparco found the force to be justifiable in this case, no charges will be filed against the two officers. 

The SIU investigates anytime there is a death involving police. 

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