A Winnipeg police officer was justified in his use of force after he shot a teen at a 7-Eleven location last fall, Manitoba’s Independent Investigation Unit has found.
Police were called to the store on Nov. 21, 2019 during a robbery, the IIU says in its report on the incident. In video captured by bystanders, a police officer can be seen standing outside the 7-Eleven on the corner of Ellice Avenue and Arlington Street.
The teen, a 16-year-old boy, is seen exiting the store and approaches the police officer. The teen then draws a weapon.
The video then moves away from the officer, but loud shouting can be heard, ordering someone to “drop the knife” several times.
At least nine shots are heard.
According to the IIU, the incident began at about 5:30 p.m. after several people called 911 saying the store was being robbed by a male with a machete.
When police got there, said the IIU, the boy left the store and started walking towards an officer with the weapon raised over his head. When the police told him to drop the weapon, he ignored officers, and so police tried to shoot him with a stun gun, with no effect.
At that point, the teen was close enough that he started to swing the weapon towards the officer’s head, said the IIU, so the officer opened fire.
The boy was shot five times. He dropped to the ground, was disarmed and then rushed to Health Sciences Centre where he underwent surgery, according to the IIU. He was discharged from HSC in mid-December.
The IIU said it reviewed statements by nine witnesses and interviewed 10 police officers who were there. The teen who was shot did not meet with the IIU, but gave permission for it to review his medical records.
Read the full report:
The IIU also reviewed notes, video from the 7-Eleven and traffic cameras, call histories, WPS radio transmission recordings and cell phone video.
“The extensive investigation and thorough review of evidence clearly indicated the actions of the subject officer were appropriate to the situation, and the use of potentially lethal force was necessary, justified and unavoidable,” reads the report.
The teen was charged in December of 2019 with robbery and possession of a weapon.
The IIU investigates all serious incidents involving police officers in the province.
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