Thursday, January 27, 2022

OPP officer charged with manslaughter in the shooting death of a man in Chatham-Kent

Special Investigations Unit officials allege: The Director of the Special Investigations Unit, Joseph Martino, has reasonable grounds to believe that an Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) officer committed criminal offences in relation to the shooting death of a 24-year-old man in Chatham-Kent last July, SIU officials say.

The investigation found that on July 7, 2021, the Chatham-Kent OPP responded to a call about a gasoline theft, SIU officials alleged in a media release on Friday, January 14, 2022.

Officers located the vehicle believed to be involved travelling westbound on Highway 401 and followed it.

The vehicle ended up in the ditch dividing the highway.

One of the officers approached the vehicle, and his firearm discharged and shot the driver.

The man died in hospital.

As a result of the SIU investigation, Cst. Sean O’Rourke is charged with one count of manslaughter and one count of criminal negligence causing death, contrary to sections 236(a) and 220(a) of the Criminal Code, respectively.

Cst. O’Rourke was arrested by members of the SIU today and subsequently released on an undertaking with conditions, SIU officials allege.

He is required to appear before the Ontario Court of Justice at 425 Grand Avenue West in Chatham on February 16, 2022.

As the matter is before the courts, and in consideration of the fair trial interests of the accused, the SIU will not provide further comment on the investigation.

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