An agitated, scissors-wielding patient who ran out of the Toronto East General Hospital was fatally shot after a confrontation with police Friday.
The victim, a 29-year-old man, was shot on Milverton Boulevard, a few blocks from the hospital, near the intersection of Coxwell and Danforth avenues.
A police officer was also slightly injured in the incident.
Four shots were fired after the man, in a hospital gown and socks, was surrounded by officers, said a Milverton Boulevard resident who said she saw what happened from her window.
Before the gunfire, there was an exchange of words that sounded like police giving the man a warning, she said.
Other residents said they heard only three shots.
One resident told CP24 television he saw several officers behind the man, trying to restrain him. Then one policeman raised his arm and fired at point-blank range, said the man, identified as Doug. After the man fell to the ground, police jumped on him and struggled to get him under control as he thrashed about, he said.
Ontario’s Special Investigations Unit, which deals with fatalities and serious injuries involving police, is now probing the incident, spokeswoman Monica Hudon said.
Local residents said that a man in a hospital gown acting aggressively and appearing to be confused was wandering around the neighbourhood Friday morning. The man was shoeless, in his socks and waving two pairs of scissors, witnesses said.
He entered a convenience store at the corner of Sammon and Woodington avenues, kitty-corner from the hospital.
One area resident said someone in the store was stabbed, but wouldn’t give more details. The store was later taped off by police.
Around 10 a.m., on Milverton Boulevard, south of the store, the man approached John Reilly, who was taking his garbage to the curb.
The man demanded the keys to the house, said Mr. Reilly’s wife, Diana.
“My husband said absolutely no.”
She said the stranger, a slight-looking man of who seemed “very distressed,” began yelling at her husband.
“It was awful,” she said.
The man then wandered into the driveway and the backyard before he dashed down the street, she said.
A few minutes later, police said, another person a block away flagged down an officer to report the man.
At 10:15 a.m. dispatchers were told that the man had been shot.
The man had life-threatening injuries and was taken by ambulance to St. Michael’s Hospital. When he arrived, paramedics could be seen doing chest compressions on him as they wheeled him through the doors.
The SIU has assigned 10 investigators and forensic officers to the case, Ms. Hudon said.
Toronto East General Hospital is co-operating with the investigation but will not make other comments, spokeswoman Angela Pappaianni said.
With a report from Adrian Morrow