New Brunswick

Rothesay police used reasonable force in fatal shooting, RCMP say

Rothesay police have been cleared of any wrongdoing in the fatal shooting of a 26-year-old man last winter, say RCMP.

William David​ McCaffrey, 26, was shot and killed outside a home on Shipyard Road on Feb. 28

A Rothesay police officer used reasonable force when he shot and killed a local man while responding to a domestic dispute last winter, an RCMP investigation has concluded.

An officer fired twice at William David​ McCaffrey on Feb. 28 to stop him from attacking another officer,  RCMP Cpl. Chantal Farrah said in a statement on Thursday.

William David McCaffrey was shot twice by a police officer outside this home on Shipyard Road on Feb. 28 and later died in hospital. (Neville Crabbe/CBC)
​McCaffrey, 26, later died from his injuries at the Saint John Regional Hospital.

"Any time there is an officer involved shooting there is an investigation to ensure the officer or officers involved acted within the guidelines for the given situation," said Farrah.

"In this case, the investigation showed that the officer had reasonable grounds to use lethal force in this situation," she said.

Three members of the Rothesay Regional Police Force, now known as the Kennebecasis Regional Police Force (KRPF), responded to a domestic dispute on Shipyard Road at about 7 p.m., said Farrah.

When they arrived, they found McCaffrey, who was "highly agitated" and wielding two knives, she said.

The officers tried to reason with him, but were unsuccessful and McCaffrey began to injure himself.

One of the officers used a conducted energy weapon on him, but it was ineffective and McCaffrey lunged at the officers with a knife in each hand, said Farrah.

Fearing for their safety, one of the officers discharged his firearm twice, hitting McCaffrey with both rounds in order to stop the attack, she said.

The shooting occurred outside the home.

The Kennebecasis Regional Police Force and McCaffrey's family have been advised of the results of the investigation by the RCMP's major crime unit, said Farrah.

Rothesay Mayor Bill Bishop, who was briefed on the shooting at the time, had said the victim's parents had fled the home by the time police arrived.

Bishop said police had previously had run-ins with the man, and he had become violent.

The Feb. 28 incident was recorded on small cameras used by the force to track the actions of its officers, Bishop had said.