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Charges against Niagara cop accused of shooting fellow officer dropped

Last Updated Nov 22, 2019 at 7:11 pm EST

Niagara police Det.-Sgt. Shane Donovan is accused of shooting fellow officer Const. Nathan Parker on Nov. 29, 2018.

The charges against an Ontario police officer accused of shooting a fellow cop a year ago have been dropped, lawyers said Friday.

Det.-Sgt. Shane Donovan of the Niagara Regional Police had been charged with attempted murder, aggravated assault and assault with a weapon in relation to the incident, which sent his colleague Const. Nathan Parker to hospital with serious injuries.

The pair had been investigating a traffic collision in Pelham, Ont., on Nov. 29, 2018, when they became involved in an altercation.

Donovan’s lawyer, Joanne Mulcahy, said the charges against her client were withdrawn on Friday because the prosecutor felt there was no reasonable chance of conviction.

“Det.-Sgt. Donovan thanks (Crown attorney) Ian Bulmer and the Ministry of the Attorney General for making the right decision in this matter,” Mulcahy said, echoing comments she made in court. “Det. Sgt. Donovan believes that his actions were fully necessary, fully justified and in defence of his life.”

Mulcahy declined to say what those actions were, citing the ongoing case against Parker, in which her client is expected to be a key witness.

She said Donovan will tell the court the same thing he told the Special Investigations Unit, Ontario’s police watchdog, when it investigated the incident.

Bulmer confirmed the charges against Donovan were dropped, while Parker’s lawyer said he “cannot fathom” the decision not to proceed with the case against Donovan.

“No theory of the case justifies Sgt. Donovan’s discharging of his firearm multiple times into my client’s body,” Joseph Markson wrote in an email. “My client, who is still recovering from nine bullet wounds, is shocked and shaken.”

Parker faces three assault charges in the same incident, laid by the Ontario Provincial Police two months after the SIU charged Donovan.