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Man shot by Sault police officer was armed with handgun, SIU says

Ontario's police watchdog, the Special Investigations Unit, released more details Sunday about a fatal police shooting Saturday night that killed a 37-year-old man

A man shot and killed last night by a Sault Ste. Marie police officer was armed with a handgun.

Ontario’s police watchdog, the Special Investigations Unit (SIU), released more details this afternoon about the altercation that led to Saturday night’s fatal shooting at the Westside Plaza.

The SIU says the incident actually began at a Circle K variety store in the west-end, where Sault Police were dispatched to respond to a disturbance call at around 10:30 p.m.

“Officers encountered a 37-year-old man in the vicinity of the store and offered to transport him to another location,” says a news release issued Sunday by the SIU.

Later in the evening, police had a second encounter with the man at the Westside Plaza, at the corner of Second Line West and Peoples Road.

“When the officers searched the man, they located a handgun," the SIU says. "An interaction ensued, and one officer discharged his firearm. The man was struck.”

The man, whose identity has not been released, was pronounced dead after being transported to hospital.



Four investigators and two forensic investigators with the SIU have been assigned to the case. 

Earlier Sunday, the Sault Ste. Marie Police Service said in a brief news release that “officers were flagged down by people” who said the 37-year-old “was harassing them.”

“Officers began an interaction with the 37-year-old and were in the process of getting them to leave the area,” the news release said. “The interaction escalated and an officer discharged their firearm.”

The SIU is an independent government agency that investigates police conduct resulting in death, serious injury, sexual assault and/or the discharge of a firearm at a person.

The unit is urging anyone who may have information about this incident, including video or photos, to contact the lead investigator at 1-800-787-8529 or online at:

By law, Sault Police cannot comment further on the incident while the investigation is active.

The name of the officer who discharged the firearm has not been released.

SooToday will provide more details as they become available.



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