Fatal police-involved shooting started with assault call over mask at Ontario grocery store: OPP
Published Wednesday, July 15, 2020 2:46PM EDT
Last Updated Wednesday, July 15, 2020 9:00PM EDT
The province’s police watchdog is investigating a fatal police-involved shooting in Haliburton County that started with a report about a man who was refusing to wear a mask at a grocery store.
The incident started at a Valu-mart on Highway 35 in the township of Minden, and ended around 40 kilometres away near a residence on Indian Point Road, east of the Village of Haliburton.
Ontario Provincial Police said that officers were called to the grocery store at around 8 a.m. following a report that there was a man who was refusing to wear a mask and had assaulted several people at the store.
“He refused to wear a mask at the store. He was refused service and the assault happened thereafter. So our people became involved with that initial assault investigation and follow-up,” OPP Sgt. Jason Folz said.
According to the Special Investigations Unit (SIU), which has invoked its mandate, the man left the store and was followed for a short period of time by an officer.
Using the vehicle’s licence plate, officers tracked the man to a home on Indian Point Road.
“Officers attended there, where shots were fired. Additional OPP resources were brought in and ultimately a 73-year-old male was transported to hospital, where he died,” Folz said.
According to the SIU, two officers fired their guns.
The man was rushed to hospital where he was pronounced dead at 11:47 a.m., the SIU said.
Images from the scene in Minden show the grocery store surrounded by yellow police tape.
Folz said the man who died was from theHaliburton area.
There is a heavy police presence on Indian Point Road, but OPP said that there is no concern for public safety.
Investigators are not currently looking for anyone else in connection with the incident.
Police are asking residents to avoid the area of Indian Point Road.
Four investigators and two forensic investigators have now been assigned to look into the case.
The SIU is an arm’s length provincial agency called in to investigate whenever police are involved in a death, serious injury, or allegations of sexual assault.
Anyone with information about the incident is being asked to contact the SIU.