No charges recommended against officers in deadly Winnipeg police shooting
Mark Dicesare, 24, died of gunshot wounds after wild chase ended in police standoff at Grant and Kenaston
"After a fulsome review of the entire investigative file … it is clear that the affected person was intent on taking his own life," Zane Tessler, director of Manitoba's Independent Investigation Unit, told reporters Thursday in downtown Winnipeg.
Dicesare, 24, died of gunshot wounds after a wild chase and standoff with police at Grant Avenue and Kenaston Boulevard on Nov. 6, 2015.
Dicesare's bullet-riddled vehicle was seen in the middle of a field across from the decommissioned Kapyong Barracks, where the standoff took place. He was hospitalized and later died.
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Manitoba's Independent Investigation Unit, which probes all serious incidents involving the police, reviewed the incident and released its findings Thursday morning.
Nineteen police vehicles and members of the tactical unit surrounded Dicesare's vehicle in the field after a chase that spanned "at least 22 kilometres," Tessler said.
Nearly 40 officers and 96 civilian witnesses were interviewed as part of the review, which found Dicesare was asked "at least 33 times" by a police 911 operator and officers on the scene to drop his weapon and surrender.
'You guys do it for me'
Communication between the officers and Dicesare, captured on an open line to the 911 operator, revealed Dicesare wanted to end his life by having police shoot him, the report states.
Dicesare stepped out of his vehicle twice, in each case turning the BB gun barrel toward his own chin, Tessler said.
The second time, he lowered the gun and aimed it at officers while saying "I'm going to have you guys do it for me, I'm so sorry," moments before officers opened fire, Tessler said.
Dicesare was hit nine times with bullets from carbines, handguns and a shotgun. Fifteen shells were located around the scene, Tessler said.
Winnipeg police say air guns are the No. 1 kind of "firearm" used in the commission of crimes in Winnipeg — more than double the next most popular kind of firearm, rifles.
"This is an unfortunate yet all too familiar situation that is seen across Canada and the United States," Tessler said.
No ill will
An autopsy revealed Dicesare had cocaine, THC (found in marijuana) and diazepam in his system, the latter drug often clinically used to treat anxiety, muscle spasms or alcohol withdrawal.
He also said Dicesare's family holds no ill will toward the Winnipeg police and tactical unit members who were there that day.
"They understand what happened they hold no grudges or blame on the police for what had transpired," Tessler said. "They should be allowed time to grieve."
Winnipeg police Chief Danny Smyth acknowledged the challenging situation officers were in the day of the police shooting and the impact it had on the community.
Winnipeg Police Association president Moe Sabourin said he is thankful the investigation has come to a close.
"We're happy that the decision that has come down, but unfortunately there has been a loss of life," Sabourin said. "Any time that happens it is a very tragic situation, and we feel for the family and for the members that were involved."
An inquest has been called under Manitoba's Fatalities Inquiry Act.
IIU investigation into shooting on Kenaston Boulevard (PDF KB)
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With files from Leif Larsen and Courtney Rutherford