Inquest into fatal police shooting finds officer had no other option

The inquest into the death of a Winnipeg man who was fatally shot by police determined that the officer had “no viable options” after failed attempts to use a Taser.

Judge Julie Frederickson released the inquest into the death of Adriel Shworob on Friday.

Shworob was killed in March 2020 after police responded to a Charleswood home for reports of family trouble.

According to the report, Shworob attacked his father and his father’s partner. It notes that he stabbed his father repeatedly, and that when police arrived Shworob was on top of his dad, who was “laying in the street, not moving, and surrounded by blood.”

Police response

According to the report, the responding officers yelled at Shworob to stop and get off, but he did not acknowledge them.

Officers tried other tactics to get him to stop, including physically removing and kicking him, but they were unsuccessful. The officers then noticed that Shworob had a knife and briefly backed away.

Two officers then attempted to use a Taser on Shworob, but it did not have the desired effect, as he continued attacking his dad.

At this point, with the attack continuing, one of the officers, Const. Sylvie Desmarais, concluded she had no choice but to use her gun.

“She pulled it out and yelled at Adriel to get off, so that he wouldn’t get hurt,” the report said.

“She described it as pleading with him. She did not want to have to shoot. Adriel did not comply, nor did he acknowledge her.”

The officer then fired her gun once, hitting Shworob in the back.

Conclusions and recommendations

In the report, Frederickson describes the events that transpired as “shocking and tragic.”

She said the officers did what they could with the resources they had.

“Although they attempted various levels of non-lethal force to stop the attack, these other uses of force were not successful,” the report said.

The report notes that the officer did not want to use lethal force, but because her Taser failed to incapacitate, she was left “with no viable options.”

As for recommendations going forward, Frederickson suggests that the Winnipeg Police Service undertake a study of intermediate and less lethal weapons used by other officers across Canada. She also recommends that Winnipeg police consider whether the intermediate weapons at the disposal of the tactical response team be expanded to general patrol officers.

The full report can be found online. 

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