SIU clears Ottawa police officer who fired at stolen vehicle

The Special Investigations Unit (SIU) has cleared an Ottawa police officer in connection with a shooting late last year.

Around 11:15 p.m. on Dec. 16, two officers with the Ottawa Police Service (OPS) followed a stolen Hyundai Elantra into a residential complex at 251 Donald Street.

A traffic stop was initiated, and as the officers approached the vehicle, a woman exited the front passenger side and left the door open. At that point, the 30-year-old male driver put the vehicle into reverse and accelerated at a high rate of speed.

The open passenger door struck one of the officers, knocking him to the ground and dragging him a short distance.

Fearing for his partner’s safety, the SIU says the second officer then opened fire, discharging four bullets into the stolen vehicle — three of which struck the windshield.

The driver then crashed the vehicle into a police cruiser before fleeing northbound through the complex.

The suspect eventually abandoned the stolen vehicle and ran away. He was later located and arrested.

It was not known if the driver had been struck by a bullet, though there was no blood observed within the vehicle.

The investigation is now complete and the Director of the SIU, Joseph Martino, has found no reasonable grounds to believe either officer committed a criminal offence in the shooting.

In a release, Martino says, “The officer’s resort to gunfire was reasonable and doing something to incapacitate the driver made sense as the lives of both officers were in imminent peril.”

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