Police Shot and Killed a 73-Year-Old Man Refusing to Wear a Face Mask

The man was allegedly assaulting people inside a grocery store before he was shot dead by Ontario Provincial Police.
Anya Zoledziowski
Toronto, Canada
July 16, 2020, 1:56pm
Police vehicle
A 73-year-old man was shot by Ontario Provincial Police after allegedly refusing to wear a mask and assaulting people at a store. Image by Diego Fabian Parra Pabon (Pixabay)

Ontario provincial police shot and killed a 73-year-old man who allegedly refused to wear a face mask in a grocery store Wednesday.

The Special Investigations Unit (SIU) said, the organization that investigates police shootings, said the man allegedly assaulted people early Wednesday morning at a Valu-mart grocery store in Minden, Ontario, about two hours outside of Toronto. The man allegedly refused to wear a face mask—which is mandatory indoors in the area to limit the spread of COVID-19—so the store chose not to serve him. The alleged assault followed, according to CP24.

Ontario’s provincial police force was called at about 9:25 a.m. and officers spotted the man leaving the store by car. Officers followed him and eventually wound up outside of a home on Indian Point Road, according to the SIU.

An altercation between the man and police ensued shortly before the two officers pulled out their weapons. The man was shot, taken to hospital, and died later Wednesday morning at 11:47 a.m.

In a new statement, the SIU said investigators collected a semi-automatic rifle and pistol from the crime scene, but did not specify who the weapons belonged to. Firearms belonging to two police officers were also secured, according to the release.

A post-mortem is scheduled for Friday morning and investigators are still trying to track down the dead man’s relatives.

The SIU did not confirm to VICE News whether the suspect had a weapon at the time, nor did it provide details about the man’s identity, including race and name.

Sgt. Jason Folz, a spokesperson with Ontario Provincial Police Haliburton Highlands dispatch, told VICE News he is unable to provide further updates because of the ongoing investigation.

The SIU is dispatched to investigate police encounters that result in death, serious injury or allegations of sexual assault in order to determine whether police involved committed a crime.

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