NIPIGON, Ont. – An OPP officer will not face criminal charges in the 2016 shooting death of a 45-year-old Nipigon man.
An investigation conducted by Ontario’s Special Investigations Unit revealed the victim, Daniel Legarde, who died of a gunshot wound to his abdomen, had refused to leave a Nipigon woman’s residence on the night of Nov. 26, 2016.
Police were called and met the complainant up the street from her home.
Officers went to the home and the victim exited the residence carrying a kitchen knife. He was told to drop the weapon and refused, so police tazed him, to no effect. Legarde returned inside the home, slamming the door.
Moments later Legarde came outside again, this time with the knife raised and proceeded toward the officer, who fired one shot, hitting the man in the abdomen.
Emergency medical services were called immediately, but the man was pronounced dead upon arrival at the hospital.
“In my view, there are no reasonable grounds to believe that the SO committed a criminal offence in relation to the death of the complainant,” said SIU director Tony Lopraco in the report absolving the unnamed officer of any criminality.
According to the report, earlier in the day Legarde had received a letter informing he owed more than $100,000 in child support, which upset him. He then visited the complainant and the two started arguing after the victim began drinking.
"It is without question that the (officers) were acting in the course of their duty when they attended the (complainant’s) house in response to her 911 call for assistance,” Lopraco said in his report.
“The only issue necessary for me to consider is whether the shooting by the (officer) was justified. I am satisfied that it was pursuant to sections 34 and 25 of the Criminal Code. Section 34 provides the legal justification for the use of force in defence of self and defence of others.