A police officer shot and seriously injured a man in Toronto on Monday after the 31-year-old allegedly threatened someone with a knife in a park, Ontario’s police watchdog said as it investigated what happened.
Toronto police officers responded around 8 a.m. Monday to a park in the city’s northwest where a man walking a dog and carrying a knife had allegedly threatened another man, a spokeswoman with the Special Investigations Unit said.
Officers arrived and pursued a 31-year-old man by foot in the park and toward the intersection at Black Creek Drive and Trethewey Drive. Two officers fired their stun guns and then a third officer fired multiple gunshots, the SIU spokeswoman said.
“Our forensic team is on scene collecting bits of evidence,” Kristy Denette told reporters gathered near the scene Monday afternoon. “And it’ll paint a more fulsome picture as part of our investigation.”
No other people were injured, including the officers, she said.
While there was a “short foot pursuit,” Denette said it was unclear whether the man was still fleeing when he shot by police, or whether he threatened the officers. A knife was recovered at the scene, she said.
“(The scene) is spread out a little bit,” Denette said.
The officer who fired the gunshots did not appear to have used a stun gun, she said.
Paramedics had said the man was in life-threatening condition when they sent him to hospital Monday morning. He was in surgery that afternoon, Denette said.
SIU investigators were collecting body-worn camera footage from police, Denette said.
The SIU, which is called in when police conduct could have resulted in serious injury or death, is urging anyone with information to contact investigators.
Toronto police did not respond to questions at a brief Monday morning news conference about what led up to the shooting, as Duty Insp. Suzanne Redman said police could not comment further since SIU had invoked its mandate.