Man, 25, fatally shot by police after hostage situation at Vaughan bank
Kayla Goodfield and Chris Herhalt, CP24.com
Published Wednesday, December 13, 2017 2:21PM EST
Last Updated Wednesday, December 13, 2017 9:45PM EST
A 25-year-old man was fatally shot by police after a hostage situation took place at a Vaughan bank on Wednesday.
Officers responded to a report of an armed man inside the RBC branch near Dufferin Street and Major Mackenzie Drive West just after 1 p.m. on Wednesday.
Upon arrival at the scene, police surrounded the bank and located an armed suspect – later identified as a Vaughan man.
Speaking to reporters at the scene, Const. Andy Pattenden said officers worked to get as many people as they could out of the hostage situation.
“There were a number of people that were inside, both staff as well as some of the patrons of the bank,” he said. “There still were some (people) inside with the subject and that could be part of the reason that lethal force was used.”
“We did have to use lethal force in order to gain control of the subject so he is deceased.”
Police said 13 people were held hostage at the time, including staff and patrons.
No other physical injuries were reported.
A woman inside a nearby pottery studio told CP24 that she and five others had to hide inside a washroom shortly after 1 p.m.
“A cop came into our store and told us that we were fine but that we needed to get into some sort of basement or hide in general,” the woman who identified herself as Olivia said. “We’re all pretty shaken up right now.”
After the shooting, officers said they were investigating a vehicle outside of the bank. Two tracked bomb squad robots were seen nearby.
A further investigation will be conducted by the province’s Special Investigations Unit – an arm’s length agency that investigates whenever police are involved in a death, serious injury or allegations of sexual assault.
SIU spokesperson Jason Gennaro told reporters that two officers discharged their firearms during the fatal incident.
“The man was struck and he was pronounced dead at the scene,” Gennaro said. “The SIU’s investigation is going to be focused on the interaction between the police officers and the individual.”
“Of course as part of that investigation we will need to determine what happened in the lead-up to that event but at the moment I don’t have any further information.”
Four subject officers and six witness officers have been assigned to this case by the SIU.
All roads in the area of the bank, located inside a commercial plaza that also contains a pharmacy, a gas station and a medical clinic, were closed as police investigated.
RBC issued a statement following the incident.
“Our number one priority is ensuring the safety and well-being of our clients and employees and we are extremely relived that they are all safe and accounted for,” the statement said. “Employees and clients are receiving support during this difficult time.”