A man was shot dead and another was injured in a confrontation with plain clothes officers in unmarked vehicles northeast of Toronto on Friday, prompting an investigation by Ontario’s police watchdog.
The Special Investigations Unit said York Regional Police officers were in Markham, Ont., around 7 a.m. as part of an investigation into a string of six home robberies that have taken place in recent weeks.
SIU spokesperson Monica Hudon said there was a confrontation between people in a white vehicle and police, and two officers fired their weapons, hitting two men who were suspected in the home invasions.
“One of the men was pronounced deceased at the scene and the second man was taken to hospital for treatment of non-life-threatening injuries,” she said. “Two other individuals from the vehicle, a man and a woman, were taken into custody.”
Hudon said the man and woman in custody and the man taken to hospital are all 26 years old, though she said they do not have information about the man who died.
“My understanding is that one of the individuals was armed with a firearm,” said Hudon, adding that there was no information about any other weapons being drawn or fired besides the two officers’ guns.
Hudon said anyone with information or footage of the incident is being asked to contact the SIU.
York Regional Police did not offer details on why the officers were undercover or why they used their weapons, saying only that an interaction took place between the officers and multiple suspects.
Police spokesperson Maniva Armstrong said concern in the community regarding the recent home invasions was what had led to investigators being in Markham before the shooting took place.
“We have had several home invasions here in Markham. They have been violent home invasions involving multiple suspects attacking people in their homes in the middle of the night and robbing them of their … valuables,” Armstrong said.
“So of course this is a huge concern for our community, this is a huge concern for our police service, and we have been actively involved in this investigation and as a result it led to the incident that took place this morning.”
Armstrong said she could not confirm if any other suspects were involved in the robberies.
This content appears as provided to The Globe by the originating wire service. It has not been edited by Globe staff.