The Special Investigations Unit (SIU) has released the name of the 60-year-old man involved in an altercation on Manitoulin Island that left an OPP officer — and the suspect — dead.
Preliminary information released by SIU indicates that on Nov. 19, two OPP officers visited a property on Hindman Trail in Gore Bay on Manitoulin Island after the property owner reported the presence of an unwanted man.
Soon after arriving, officers located the man — who was inside a trailer — and there was "an interaction." At around 11 a.m., there was an exchange of gunfire between Const. Marc Hovingh and the man, resulting in both men being shot. They were transported to hospital where both succumbed to their injuries.
Three investigators and two forensic investigators have been assigned to the case, said the SIU. Post-mortems are scheduled for tomorrow morning in Toronto. The other officer on scene did not sustain any injuries.
SIU had been withholding the name of the 60-year-old man pending consent from his next of kin. Today (Nov. 21), the man was identified as 60-year-old Gary Brohman of Gore Bay.
Post-mortem examinations are underway in Toronto, SIU also reported. Investigators remain in Gore Bay where they are continuing to process the scene of the shootings. So far, SIU has interviewed three civilians witnesses to the incident.
Anyone who may have information relevant to this investigation is urged to contact the lead investigator at 1-800-787-8529. The Unit is also urging anyone who may have any video evidence related to this incident to upload that video through the SIU website.
Greater Sudbury Police Service has been asked by OPP to assist in the provincial police service's investigation into the incident.
Meanwhile, many Island communities, as well as the City of Greater Sudbury, have lowered their flags to half-staff out of respect for the fallen officer. Sudbury.com has been unsuccessful in getting a hold of Gore Bay mayor Dan Osborne, but he told the Canadian Press that the loss is “devastating.” The Township of Assiginack is showing its support for the Hovingh family. “
"We know the community is mourning the loss of Marc Hovingh and want to show their support to the Hovingh family,” said a Facebook post. Each day, from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., a blue box will be set outside the Assiginack arena on a table in the parking lot for anyone wanting to drop off a card or note of condolence. The cards will be given to the Hovingh family.
Hovingh’s death has echoed across the entire province, with many police services paying tribute and lowering their own flags to half staff.
Premier Doug Ford said in a tweet he’s deeply saddened by the death, and that the flags at Queen’s Park are being lowered out of respect for Hovingh and his family. “My thoughts are with all the brave men and women on the frontlines who put their lives on the line every day to keep our community safe,” Ford said in his tweet.
My statement on the shooting in Manitoulin Island pic.twitter.com/LHryeyZoxv— Doug Ford (@fordnation) November 19, 2020
Algoma-Manitoulin MPP Michael Mantha said on social media the tight-knit community of Manitoulin Island is devastated at the tragic loss. “On Manitoulin Island, OPP officers are our friends and our neighbours,” Mantha said in a Facebook post. “On duty and off, they play an active role in Manitoulin life. We will be forever changed by the devastating loss of one of our own."
Greater Sudbury Mayor Brian Bigger expressed his sadness of the fatal shooting through Twitter: “I am truly saddened by the tragic events that took place yesterday in Gore Bay and on behalf of Council and @GreaterSudbury I extend our deepest condolences to PC Hovingh's family.” Flags were lowered at Tom Davies Square to honour the officer who was killed in the line of duty.