Male dead after being stunned by Taser in Winnipeg

A male is dead after being shot with a Taser stun gun by police in Winnipeg early Tuesday afternoon.

A male is dead after being shot with a Taser stun gun by police in Winnipeg early Tuesday afternoon.

Police have released few details about the incident.

They received a 911 call around 4 p.m. CT and when officers arrived at the location, there was some type of confrontation that resulted in one person being stunned with a Taser, police said.

"Upon attending, officers encountered a male at the rear of a residence," Const. Jacqueline Chaput said. "This resulted in an officer deploying his electronic control device. The male who was struck ... was conveyed to hospital in critical condition and he succumbed to his injuries in hospital."

Chaput refused to comment on media reports that suggested the person was armed with a weapon, saying the investigation had just begun. She said the incident was serious enough, though, that more than five police cars were sent to the scene.

Paramedics were called to the scene by police, who requested that a "rush" be put on the ambulance, Chaput said.

This is the first time someone has died in Winnipeg after being shot with a Taser, police said.

"However, the cause of death is yet to be determined by the investigation and by the autopsy, so at this point, it's too early to tell if the cause of death had anything at all to do with the electronic control device," she said.

Police would not say how old the male was or how many times or where he had been struck with a Taser, a weapon intended to incapacitate people with an electric shock. It was not immediately clear how much experience the officer involved had.

Executive members of the Winnipeg police force decided to continue using such devices "despite some of the controversy that we've seen all over the country," Chaput said.

The death of Polish immigrant Robert Dziekanski at Vancouver International Airport last year after RCMP shot him with a Taser has led to a number of probes into the use of stun guns by police forces, including an inquiry called by the B.C. government, an internal investigation by the RCMP and an investigation by the RCMP public complaints commissioner.