Officers learned toddler was in truck before fatal Kawartha Lakes shooting, audio reveals
Audio of the fatal police shooting of a father and toddler in Kawartha Lakes, Ontario, sheds new light on the moments before police opened fire and what happened. they could have known before the meeting.
Recording of police radio conversations shows officers were told there was a child in the truck they were chasing in the mostly rural community on November 26, 2020 and that, according to an officer, the driver had pointed a gun to his own head. .
The lawsuit grew out of a reported child abduction earlier in the day and ended with the shooting deaths of 18-month-old Jameson Shapiro and his 33-year-old father, and seriously injuring a police officer. Ontario Provincial Police (OPP).
The Ontario police watchdog said on Wednesday three officers have been charged in the shooting – with one count each of manslaughter and criminal negligence causing death – in the child’s death.
The audio was recorded by Shawn Salo, a freelance journalist who runs the Peterborough Scanner Feed site, which displays radio communications from community emergency services northwest of Toronto.
« I hope by posting this recording it will help you understand the situation better, » Salo wrote after posting the 12-minute recording on YouTube.
CBC News is not showing the video in its entirety, as some may find it disturbing.
“He is quite desperate”
The recording begins with officers searching for the father and his rust-colored Toyota Tundra.
Very soon, a female voice, which appears to be the dispatcher, alerts the agents that there is a child in the truck.
« Units need to be notified that there is a child in this vehicle. There is a child in this vehicle, » she said.
Moments later, an officer following the truck warns another who is waiting: “He is quite desperate… he had a gun to his head.
« I have a negotiator on standby, » the woman said.
About a minute later, the police are heard calling for a canine unit and a helicopter.
The chase continues along Pigeon Lake Road – the driver now about 170 kilometers per hour, officers say – when told to ‘back up’ and make way for the suspect vehicle. At this point, the police appear to be steering the vehicle towards a spiked belt.
A few seconds later, a loud crash is heard followed by moans.
Another person is heard shouting « Let it go! » before the shots – about seven shots.
“Shots, shots! Officer down! an officer is heard shouting.
This is followed by another series of loud bangs – it is unclear if these are gunshots – followed by silence for several moments. The next two minutes are mostly silence and scrambled audio.
Around 8:25 a.m., someone is heard calling the paramedics.
« An ambulance is on the way, » announces the dispatcher.
Officers opened fire
CBC Toronto has attempted to independently verify the recording and share it with the Ontario Provincial Police.
Ontario Provincial Police spokesman Bill Dickson confirmed that police are « aware that the audio of the dispatch is online. »
« It would be inappropriate for me to provide information regarding the injuries sustained by our member. Full details will form part of the evidence presented in court, » Dickson said in an email.
The Special Investigations Unit (SIU) has previously stated officers were trying to intercept the father’s truck when it hit an OPP patrol car and another car on Pigeon Lake Road. An officer standing outside the cruiser at the time was seriously injured in the process, the SIU previously said, but provided no further details.
Three officers then opened fire, striking the boy inside the truck and his father, according to the SIU.
The boy was pronounced dead at the scene. Her father was taken to hospital and died of his injuries about a week later. He has not yet been officially named by the SIU.
Police said they found four firearms at the scene, three belonging to officers and one found near the father’s truck.
The SIU said last year it interviewed 18 police officers and 14 civilians as part of its investigation.
He said on Thursday he would not comment further on the case, given that it is now before the courts.
The charged officers are scheduled to appear in court in Lindsay, Ont., on October 6.