New Brunswick

2 Mounties shouldn't be charged in fatal shooting on Kingston Peninsula, agency finds

Two RCMP officers who shot and killed a knife-wielding man on the Kingston Peninsula last New Year's Eve, after he assaulted his ex-partner and threatened to burn down their home, should not face criminal charges, says an independent police watchdog agency.

Force used against knife-wielding man was 'justified and not excessive'

A man died from his injuries after being shot twice by police during an early morning incident Dec. 31. (Robert Short/CBC)

Two RCMP officers who shot and killed a knife-wielding man on the Kingston Peninsula last New Year's eve, after he assaulted his ex-partner and threatened to burn down their home, should not face criminal charges, says an independent police watchdog agency.

The officers had reasonable grounds to believe the force they used was necessary to protect themselves after they arrived at the home during the early morning hours, an investigation by Nova Scotia's Serious Incident Response Team concluded.

The man, whose name has not been released, was armed with a utility knife, which he refused to drop, and moved  toward the officers, according to the report, released Thursday by the Department of Justice and Public Safety.

They used a Taser, which caused the man to fall to the ground and roll around. But then he stood up again with the knife still in his hand.

They tried to use the Taser two more times, but it stopped functioning.

Struck officer in face with knife

The man moved toward the first officer, who shot him in the shoulder. It caused the man to move backwards momentarily, but then he "lunged at [the officer] and struck them in the face with the utility knife."

With that officer now on the ground, the man advanced toward the second officer, who shot him in the stomach.

Paramedics administered first aid at the scene, but the man "flat-lined" in the ambulance, shortly before arrival at the hospital, according to the report.

Police officers are entitled to apply as much force as is necessary to protect themselves from force or threat of harm from an offender, says the Serious Incident Response Team. (CBC)

There was "clear evidence that the [man] intended to cause death or grievous bodily harm to the [officers]," the report says. "The [officers] therefore had reasonable grounds to believe that the use of force was necessary for their self-preservation.

"An assessment of the force used in the circumstances, viewed objectively, clearly establishes that the force used was justified and not excessive. Accordingly, the actions of [the officers] did not constitute a criminal offence. Therefore, no charges are warranted against either officer."

Upset over being awakened by child

The incident began when a woman went to the RCMP detachment in Hampton to report she had been assaulted by her former partner in the house they still shared, according to the report. She lived on the main floor with her two children and he lived in the basement.

The man became upset when he was awakened after one of the children got up to use the washroom, and he went to the main level "yelling and screaming."

He assaulted the woman by choking her and "pushing her head into a door with enough force as to cause visible damage to the door," the report states.

He also threatened to burn down the house if she left the residence or called the police, and then took away her cellphone, as well as her daughter's.

Was hiding in closet

That's when she and her daughter fled in their pyjamas and headed to the police station, leaving her sleeping son behind.

She was "very concerned" about the boy. She was "frantic and crying the entire time she was with the [officers] at the detachment and subsequently at the residence," the report states.

When they accompanied her to the basement to retrieve some clothing from a closet, they were confronted by the man, who was hiding inside, with a utility knife in his hand and his arm raised.

The investigation was undertaken at the request of the Department of Justice and Public Safety through a memorandum of understanding, according to a news release.

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