Saskatoon

Saskatoon police await final autopsy results in 2018 fatal shooting case

Saskatoon patrol officers opened fire on a 27-year-old man who was reportedly armed with a handgun and threatened to harm both himself and officers.

Patrol officers opened fire on a 27-year-old man who was reportedly armed and threatening harm

Saskatoon Police requested independent oversight immediately after the shooting of a 27-year-old man on Dec. 22, 2018. The man was said to be distraught and threatening to harm himself and officers. (CBC)

The Saskatoon Police Service is waiting on final autopsy results before it passes on the case of a fatal 2018 police-involved shooting to Regina Crown prosecutors for review. 

On the night of Dec. 22, Saskatoon patrol officers opened fire on a 27-year-old man who was reportedly armed with a handgun and threatened to harm both himself and officers.

The incident happened on the outskirts of the city and also involved RCMP officers, who followed the man to Saskatoon from nearby Warman, Sask.

The Saskatoon Police Service gave an update on the file Monday. 

"[The Major Crimes Section is] currently waiting for the final autopsy and toxicology report to come back and then it will go to the Crown for review," a police spokesperson said via email. 

"The review by the Crown is part of the ongoing investigation. It's possible that during the course of that review, they ask us to complete another task as part of the investigation, meaning that our investigation isn't concluded yet."

Crown prosecutors review an incident for signs of criminal wrongdoing. If none are found, incidents may later go to a public coroner's inquest, which is a fact-finding process meant to prevent similar deaths. 

Saskatchewan's Ministry of Justice appointed an investigation observer to oversee the investigation done by Saskatoon's major crimes section. Saskatoon police requested independent oversight immediately after the shooting.

What we know about that night

Saskatoon police said its officers were first told about the distraught man by Warman RCMP officers before 8 p.m. CST that night.

"He was reported to be driving a vehicle headed toward Saskatoon," Saskatoon Police Chief Troy Cooper said at a press conference the day after the shooting.

"Throughout the incident, the adult male had been in contact by phone with several individuals, including members of the SPS crisis negotiation unit," Cooper added.

At some point before 9:20 p.m. CST, RCMP used a tire deflation device that partially disabled the man's vehicle near the intersection of Dundonald Avenue and Valley Road.

"Members of SPS Patrol simultaneously responded to the scene," according to a Saskatoon police news release. "SPS and RCMP members encountered the adult male who refused to comply with officer commands and fired his gun. Officers perceived a threat and engaged."

Saskatoon Police Chief Troy Cooper reads from a prepared statement the day after the shooting. (CBC)

It's not clear whether officers from both police agencies fired on the man. The RCMP has issued no statement on the incident. 

The man was pronounced dead after being taken to hospital. No Saskatoon police officers were physically injured during the encounter.  

"I'd like to express my condolences to the loved ones of the family of the man who was involved in last night's incident," Cooper said at the time.

Corrections

  • A previous version of this story stated the case was under Crown review. The Saskatoon Police Service said this in error. In fact, the police are awaiting autopsy and toxicology results before passing the file to the Crown.
    Jan 06, 2020 2:54 PM CT

About the Author

Guy Quenneville

All-platform journalist for CBC Saskatoon

Story tips? guy.quenneville@cbc.ca

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