Toronto police chief condemns officers over shooting of ‘arrested’ man

Second murder charge has been laid in the shooting death of a 30-year-old man from Brampton, Ontario, a police spokesman says.

Kelvin Gaines was killed by officers responding to a shooting in downtown Toronto on Saturday, authorities said.

Officers approached Gaines’s vehicle, and he fled on foot, said Durham regional police in a statement on Sunday. A struggle ensued with the officers, who had ordered Gaines to drop his weapon. Gaines then shot two officers in the upper torso, officials said.

Two officers were injured in the attack and are currently in critical condition, police said. They were given operating room surgery and are expected to survive. An unidentified member of the public, who had stopped to offer first aid, also suffered an injury from a gunshot wound. Gaines was identified by police as being the driver of the suspect vehicle that shot up the downtown intersection.

A 37-year-old man was arrested by the Toronto police tactical unit at the scene and charged with two counts of attempted murder, one count of aggravated assault, two counts of attempted murder, two counts of pointing a firearm, and one count of assaulting a peace officer. His name has not been released.

Police identified the injured officers as 43-year-old Const Brent Dewar and 45-year-old Const Mike Klarenbeek.

Hamilton, Ontario, police said in a statement on Sunday that Gaines had been charged with second-degree murder in the killing of a 19-year-old man there. His name has not been released.

There has been widespread condemnation of the police for their response to the incident.

Toronto police union president Mike McCormack said of the incident: “[Gaines] did not surrender, they came upon him. They fired five times – five times. Those are obviously bullets that are not life threatening and would not have inflicted any internal damage, but we do understand he had no intention of surrendering. So those are shots that will never be forgotten.”

It is likely that the Toronto officers, Dewar and Klarenbeek, will make their first appearance in a Toronto court on Monday. They are both on paid leave.

The Toronto police chief, Mark Saunders, released a statement on Sunday. “Despite our officers’ efforts to apprehend the suspect in the midst of a chaotic situation, one of our officers sustained critical injuries.

“We realize that the public may be concerned about the serious nature of these injuries to these officers and I want to assure them that our primary focus is on making sure that those officers can receive the full medical attention that they need to recover and continue to recover.”

Crime has risen substantially across Ontario since 2015, when police forces formed a task force aimed at curbing gun violence.

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