The Special Investigations Unit says the man who was fatally shot by police near a Toronto school Thursday was actually carrying a pellet gun, not a rifle, as previous reports indicated.
The SIU is an independent agency that investigates the conduct of Ontario police officers in serious incidents, including those resulting in death.
Toronto police said that shortly before 1 p.m. Thursday, a man was reported to be carrying firearm in the area of Marberley Crescent and Oxhorn Road, which is north of Lawrence Avenue East and East Avenue.
Police arrived at the scene and two officers shot at the man, the SIU said. The 27-year-old man was later pronounced dead at the scene.
Investigators said there were reports of someone walking around with a rifle. But the SIU said Friday morning he was carrying a BB gun, then later clarified he was carrying a pellet gun.
The SIU called it a firearm which they said “is defined as a barreled weapon from which any shot, bullet or other projectile can be discharged and that is capable of causing serious bodily injury or death to a person.”
The incident occurred near William G. Davis Junior Public School, an elementary school in Scarborough, which forced the school to go under lockdown.
It comes as 19 students and two adults were shot and killed in a mass shooting inside of a school in Uvalde, Texas, earlier this week. It was one of the worst school shootings in United States history.
“Due to the proximity to a school, I certainly understand the trauma and how traumatic this must have been for staff, students and parents, given the recent events that have happened in the United States,” Toronto Police Chief James Ramer told reporters Thursday afternoon.
— with files from Global News’ Ryan Rocca
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