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Man dead after being shot by police in Scarborough, SIU investigating

Ontario’s police watchdog says it is investigating the death of a man shot by a Toronto police officer outside a medical building in Scarborough on Monday.

Police received several 911 calls at about 2:50 p.m. about a man on Ellesmere Road, threatening motorists, the Special Investigations Unit said in a news release.

The man ended up in front of the medical building at Ellesmere and Principal roads, west of Birchmount Road, the SIU said. The shooting happened just after 3 p.m. in its parking lot.

“The man brandished a hammer. An officer shot the man. Another officer discharged a conducted energy weapon,” the SIU said in the release.

The man was taken to hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

SIU Scarborough shooting
Toronto police vehicles are parked near the scene of the fatal shooting on Monday. (CBC)

SIU spokesperson Kristy Denette, speaking to reporters near the scene on Monday, said there was “some type of interaction” with the man, before one police officer fired a single shot while another police officer Tasered him.

Denette said investigators will collect body-worn camera footage from police, review CCTV footage from the area, speak to officers who were at the scene and interview witnesses, she added.

“There are many pieces to this to try to figure out sort of what led to that interaction,” she said.

The SIU has assigned seven investigators and two forensic investigators to the case. A post-mortem will be scheduled at a later date.

Area busy at time of shooting, SIU says

Denette said the area was busy at the time and there were many witnesses. 

“This happened in broad daylight in front of a very busy sort of medical building. So there are a lot of witnesses that the SIU wants to talk to yet,” she said.

The hammer has been recovered from the scene, she said. It’s unclear if the man was having a mental health episode, she added.

Denette said investigators are still trying to determine the circumstances that led up to shooting.

“As far as I know, the man wasn’t using a weapon on motorists. It was just he was behaving in a strange fashion and behaving erratically in the roadway and that prompted motorists to contact 911.”

Man not yet identified, SIU says

Denette said it’s too early to say if de-escalation techniques were used but she thinks the incident occurred within a timeframe that likely wouldn’t allow officers to attempt crisis intervention tactics. 

Marlon Superville, a local resident, said his daughter’s doctor is in the building and the shooting has rattled him.

“It’s concerning because I live in the area. It’s hitting close to home,” he said.

The SIU said it is trying to identify the man and has not yet notified next of kin. His age has not been released.

On Monday following the shooting, Warden Avenue was closed between Canadian and Ellesmere roads as the investigation continued.

The SIU is an independent government agency that investigates the conduct of police officers in incidents that may have resulted in death, serious injury, sexual assault or the discharge of a firearm at a person.

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