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Police watchdog probing death of man, serious injury of bystander in OPP gunfire incident


Ontario’s police watchdog the Special Investigations Unit (SIU) has invoked its mandate after a 26-year-old man being pursued by police died and an uninvolved 76-year-old bystander was seriously injured in a gunfire exchange involving Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) officers in northeastern Ontario, north of the Town of Latchford, Ont.

One suspect has died and a second is in custody following an incident near Latchford, Ont., Thursday evening, The province's Special Investigations Unit (SIU) has invoked its mandate because someone was killed or injured during an interaction with police. (Eric Taschner/CTV News Northern Ontario)On March 7 at about 5 p.m., OPP officers in Kirkland Lake conducted a traffic stop in the area of Government Road West and Woods Street to arrest two men for drug-related offences.

“The driver fled,” said SIU officials in a news release late Friday.

“Police attempted to stop the fleeing vehicle in the area of Highway 11 and Portage Bay Road, resulting in an exchange of gunfire.”

Police said the other occupant also fled the vehicle.

After the gunfire was exchanged one of the vehicle’s occupants, a 26-year-old man, was found dead.

OPP issued a shelter-in-place order for the town and the surrounding communities.

The other occupant of the vehicle fled on foot but was found by police and arrested without injury.

A bystander, a 76-year-old man and area resident who was not involved in the alleged crimes, was seriously injured.

“(He) remains in hospital with non-life-threatening injuries,” reads the release.

Highway 11 was closed from Portage Bay Road to Highway 11B while the initial investigation was taking place.

Police closed Highway 11 from Portage Bay Road to Highway 11B for investigation. (Eric Taschner/CTV News Northern Ontario)The roadways fully reopened at about 9:30 p.m. on Friday evening.

A post-mortem on the suspect who was killed in the gunfire exchange is scheduled for Monday.

The police watchdog has assigned three investigators and two forensic investigators to the case.

The SIU is asking anyone who may have information about the incident to contact investigators at 1-800-787-8529 or submit evidence including statements, photos and/or video and other details online.

– With files from journalists Darren MacDonald and Eric Taschner

Residents along Highway 11 in the area of Coleman Township has seen an increased police police presence since Thursday. (Eric Taschner CTV News Northern Ontario) Top Stories

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