Special Investigations Unit (SIU)

Special Investigations Unit (SIU)

July 28, 2005 13:39 ET

SIU Concludes Investigation into Sudbury Shooting

Attention: News Editor TORONTO--(CCNMatthews - July 28, 2005) - James Cornish, the Director of the Special Investigations Unit (SIU), has concluded that the shooting of a 43-year-old man by a Greater Sudbury Police Service (GSPS) officer was legally justified.

On May 19, 2005, James Kinnunen was involved in a confrontation with GSPS officers, which ended after he was shot once in the chest. Mr. Kinnunen was taken to hospital where he was treated for his injury.

As part of the investigation, SIU investigators designated one subject and three witness officers from the GSPS. Forensic identification technicians photographed and measured the shooting scene and collected all pertinent evidence, including one spent .40 calibre shell case and a green plastic knife case with the knife inside.

The SIU investigation revealed that at approximately 10:50 p.m., two GSPS officers were dispatched to a family dispute call at a home on Norma Street in Sudbury. When the officers arrived they were told that Mr. Kinnunen was acting irrationally and had run into the yard. The officers instructed the people in the home to stay inside while they went outside to find Mr. Kinnunen. They found him hiding underneath a car. The officers identified themselves as police officers and tried, unsuccessfully, to speak with him.

Mr. Kinnunen then jumped up and started running towards the officers. The officers retreated; one officer ran down the driveway and the other ran towards the house. Mr. Kinnunen told the police he wanted them to leave and walked toward one officer. The second officer had removed his ASP baton but dropped his baton and drew his firearm when he heard his partner yell that the man had a knife. The subject officer, who had his firearm drawn, ordered Mr. Kinnunen to stop. The officer re-holstered his firearm because he was not sure where Mr. Kinnunen had the knife (in his hand, on his belt etc.) The officer tried again to talk to Mr. Kinnunen who had stopped advancing on his partner.

Mr. Kinnunen started walking towards the house. The subject officer chased after him to stop him from entering the house fearing for the safety of the other occupants. As the officer followed, he ordered Mr. Kinnunen not to enter the house. The officer saw that Mr. Kinnunen had the knife in his hand and again drew his firearm. Mr. Kinnunen approached the officer with the knife in his hand and the officer shot once. Mr. Kinnunen was about 60 centimetres away from the officer's gun when he was struck in the chest.

Based upon the totality of the evidence, Director Cornish concluded the subject officer was justified in resorting to the use of his firearm, as he reasonably feared for his own safety and for the safety of others. He stated, "The officer continuously assessed and adjusted his choice of use of force options to meet with the circumstances as they unfolded. Fortunately for all, no one was killed as a result of this incident."

The SIU is a civilian agency that investigates circumstances involving police and civilians which have resulted in serious injury, sexual assault or death. Under Part VII, Section 113, of the Police Services Act, the Director of the SIU has the sole authority to decide whether or not charges are warranted based on the findings of a complete investigation. The Director's decision is reported to the Attorney General.


Rose Bliss
SIU Communications/Service des communications, UES
Telephone/No de telephone: 416-622-2342 or/ou 1-800-787-8529

Contact Information

  • Rose Bliss, Communications Manager, Special Investigations Unit
    Primary Phone: 416-622-2342