Officers won’t be charged after man killed in police shooting

The three officers involved in the fatal shooting of a 26-year-old man in Winnipeg won’t be charged, following an investigation by Manitoba’s police watchdog.

The altercation took place on the evening of Jan. 11, 2019, when Winnipeg police officers were looking for a man wanted in connection to a domestic assault. The Independent Investigation Unit said when police found the suspect, who was acting “suspiciously,” they tried to stop and question him, but he ran off.

Police chased after him and requested back-up from other officers, saying the suspect had a hatchet on him.

According to the IIU, once the man got to an empty lot on Sherbrook Street, just south of Sargent Avenue, he threatened police with a hatchet. Two officers then tried to use their Tasers on the suspect, but it didn’t work.

At this point, the IIU said, the man drew his arm back to throw the hatchet and three officers shot their guns. The man was taken to hospital, and died the next day.

During its investigation the IIU reviewed reports from the three subject officers, and interviewed eight witness officers and seven civilians. It also used dispatch recordings, cellphone video, security video that showed the man holding an axe, and drug analysis that detected methamphetamine and amphetamine in the man’s blood.

In the report, the IIU civilian director said the officer’s lethal use of force was justified and unavoidable, and their decision to shoot the suspect was necessary in preventing death or injury to themselves and other officers.

In January, close family members identified the man who was killed as Chad Williams, a Winnipeg father of two.

“It was totally wrong how they handled this,” said Jonathan Williams, Chad’s father, in a phone call with CTV Winnipeg.

He said members with the IIU came to his home around 3 a.m. on Jan. 12 to explain.

Relatives describe Chad  as loving, outgoing and always smiling.

His father said Chad was a carpenter and came from a family with nine other brothers and sisters.

Relatives said he struggled with an addiction and had been to jail, but was bettering himself.

“Chad meant a lot to his family, friends and his two children. He did not deserve to go the way he did. Chad needs justice. This isn’t right at all,” said sister Shaina Williams in and online message to CTV Winnipeg on Jan. 12.

“He was so caring loving and always made sure everyone was happy. He was an amazing man. I’m so hurt from this.”

A complete report can be found on the IIU’s website.