A one-year-old baby boy was killed by police on Thursday after an estranged father took him, sparking police intervention that ended with both the father and son being shot.
The incident took place in the rural region of Kawartha Lakes, Ontario, after police received reports of an alleged domestic disturbance and abduction, according to reports.
A Special Investigations Unit (SIU) said that the father, who was attempting to flee the police, crashed his vehicle into a cruiser belonging to Ontario Provincial Police before three officers shot at the 33-year-old suspect, gravely wounding him, the child was also fatally shot, reports Niagara Falls Review.
“The man was struck and he was airlifted to hospital in grave condition,” said SIU spokesperson Monica Hudon. “Inside the vehicle was the man’s son, a one-year-old boy, and he was fatally wounded.”
A firearm was also discovered in the man’s vehicle.
According to a local resident, the father had tried to kidnap the baby on Thursday morning following a domestic disturbance. In desperation, the child’s mother, her older son, and a therapist contacted him seeking shelter.
“Some people came to the house and wanted in, for a safe haven, and there was something about the husband had left with the little baby,” said Tom Deciccio.
When police located the father on a foggy rural road just east of Lindsay, Ontario, all hell reportedly broke loose when the man’s truck collided with another civilian car and the police cruiser.
The car was largely totaled by the collision, raising important questions as to why officers felt the need to fire their weapons at the vehicle.
The father remains in critical condition while the OPP officer, who was initially listed in critical condition, is now stable and being treated at Toronto’s Sunnybrook Hospital. An autopsy was conducted on the deceased child on Saturday.
The investigation of police conduct during the incident is now in the hands of the SIU, which is tasked with investigating any incidents involving Ontario officers who have killed, seriously injured, or sexually assaulted somebody.
The normally quiet central Ontario town of Kawartha Lakes has been shaken by the gruesome incident.
“The community is in disbelief that this is happening,” commented Mayor Andy Letham, who added that he appreciates the work of provincial police in safeguarding the community’s safety and wellbeing.
In separate comments to the National Post, the mayor noted that everyone in the region was already on edge this winter due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic – and that Thursday’s deadly incident only added an extra layer of distress to the small community.
“In a small community like this, it certainly caught everybody off guard,” Letham said.
OPP Commissioner Thomas Carrique said that York Regional Police will handle other aspects of the investigation to ascertain how the tragic case unfolded.
“As a result of a tragic incident today, one child is dead and two others significantly injured. I ask that (the SIU) and (York police) be given time to investigate, without speculation on the events as they unfolded,” he explained in a tweet. “Our thoughts and prayers are with those that are suffering today.”
As of the time of publishing, police have not yet revealed which of the three officers fired the fatal shot, or if it was the father that claimed the child’s life, or if the father discharged any bullets from the firearm found in the vehicle.
However, the SIU has said that the three police firearms have been taken for forensic investigation. In the meantime, the handgun found inside the truck will likely be handed to investigators.
Typos, corrections and/or news tips? Email us at Contact@TheMindUnleashed.com