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SIU: Police gunfire responsible for death of 1-year-old in Kawartha Lakes shooting

Last Updated Feb 11, 2021 at 11:51 pm EDT

The Special Investigations Unit says the death of a one-year-old boy in Kawartha Lakes last November was caused by police gunfire.

The boy’s 33-year-old father was also shot by provincial police and died in hospital nearly a week after the incident.

“Upon receipt and review of additional forensic evidence in this case, including the results of the postmortem examination performed on a child, and reports prepared by the Centre of Forensic Sciences of analyses conducted with respect to bloodstains in the pickup truck, the trajectory of shots that struck the truck, and firearms, cartridge cases and projectiles, the SIU can today confirm that the child’s death on November 26, 2020 in Kawartha Lakes was the result of being shot by police,” read a brief statement by the provincial police watchdog.

The SIU did not release any more details surrounding the investigation except to say that the three subject officers have yet to be interviewed. Subject officers are under no legal obligation to speak with the SIU.

Police had originally been called to a residence in Trent Lakes about an alleged abduction of a boy by his father on the morning of November 26.

The OPP then located a vehicle of interest in the City of Kawartha Lakes and attempted to stop the pickup truck. The truck then became involved in a collision with a police cruiser and another vehicle on Pigeon Lake Road.

Three officers discharged their weapons, striking the 33-year-old driver who was airlifted to hospital but succumbed to his injuries a week later.

The one-year-old boy who was inside the pickup truck was also fatally wounded by gunshot and pronounced dead at the scene.

Investigators seized the three firearms from police and say a fourth gun was found in the pickup truck where the one-year-old boy was shot dead.

The Ontario Provincial Police Association expressed their “heartfelt condolences” to the mother and family of the one-year-old who was killed.

“We’re all shocked and saddened when a young child dies in anyway,” OPPA spokesperson Scott Mills tells 680 NEWS.

“It’s very stressful for anybody involved in this incident. Nobody goes to work as a police officer with the intent to hurt or harm anyone. It’s a sad day for everybody.”

The Association made no further mention of the SIU probe, citing respect for the “investigative process.”

The mayor of Kawartha Lakes described the boy’s death as “tragic” and expressed sympathy for his grieving relatives Thursday.

“I can’t even imagine what his mother and that police officer are feeling today. My heart goes out to both of them and their families,” Andy Letham said in a statement.