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SIU probing Balmertown shooting

Chris Marchand

Chris Marchand served as editor of the Dryden Observer from August 2009 to April 2018.

By Lindsay Briscoe Northern Sun News

The province’s Special Investigation Unit (SIU) has assigned a team to look into the shooting of a 23-year old female by police in Balmertown last Saturday.

Just after 10:30 p.m. on Feb. 8, officers from the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) Red Lake detachment responded to a noise complaint at an apartment on Pine Road for the second time that evening.

According to an OPP report, officers arrived at the apartment and were denied entry by the female occupant who had informed police she had consumed an unknown amount of medication.

The officers, who were concerned for her safety, breached the apartment door. An altercation between the officer and the female ensued resulting in an officer discharging a firearm.

The female was struck and airlifted to hospital in Winnipeg. The SIU would not comment on the location of her injury but did say her injury was not believed to be life threatening.

Two officers were taken to hospital and subsequently released.

The identities of the female and the officers were not available at the time of press.

Four investigators and two forensic investigators were sent to collect evidence and conduct interviews in the area.

The SIU, an arm’s length agency, is charged with investigating reports involving police where there has been death, serious injury or allegations of sexual assault. Under the Police Services Act, the unit must consider whether an officer has committed a criminal offence in connection with the incident under investigation, lay a criminal charge against the officer if appropriate or close the file without any charges being laid, and report the results of any investigations to the Attorney General.


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