Investigators with Ontario’s police watchdog have found a handgun in the pickup truck where a one-year-old boy died east of Lindsay on Thursday, according to an update released on Friday (November 27).
Police had opened fire on the driver of the truck, a 33-year-old suspect who had allegedly abducted the child, after the truck collided with an OPP cruiser and another vehicle, seriously injuring an OPP officer. The suspect was struck and airlifted to a Toronto hospital with serious injuries. No information has been released on the man’s condition.
Police later found the infant in the truck, dead of a gunshot wound. The province’s Special Investigations Unit (SIU) has not indicated whether the infant was killed by gunfire from police or from the handgun found in the truck.
A post-mortem on the child is scheduled for Saturday morning in Toronto. Along with the handgun from the truck, SIU investigators have collected three police-issued firearms. All four weapons will be examined at the Centre of Forensic Sciences in Toronto.
“The SIU appreciates the public interest in this tragic case and is doing what it can to get answers to the public as quickly as possible while ensuring that the integrity of the investigation is not compromised,” the Friday update from the SIU reads. “We ask for the public’s continued patience.”
The tragedy unfolded early on Thursday morning, after police responded to a report of a domestic dispute involving a firearm and the alleged abduction of a child by his father at a home near Bobcaygeon in the Municipality of Trent Lakes.
Global News reports that one local resident said police chased a vehicle that sped away from the home, and another resident said three people came to his home looking for a safe haven.
According to the SIU, police located and attempted to stop the man’s pickup truck on Sturgeon Road in Kawartha Lakes but were unsuccessful. On Pigeon Lake Road, the truck collided with a police car and another vehicle.
A City of Kawartha Lakes OPP officer who was standing beside the police car was seriously injured in the collision. The officer is in a Toronto hospital in stable condition, according to the SIU.
After the collision, there was an “interaction” between the driver and police officers, when three officers opened fire, striking the driver.
After police apprehended the injured man, his infant son was found in the pickup truck with a gunshot wound and was pronounced dead at the scene. According to the Canadian Press, the infant was in the backseat of the truck.
The SIU says the truck will be taken to the Centre of Forensic Sciences in Toronto for examination.
The SIU — a civilian agency that investigates death, serious injury or allegations of sexual assault in incidents involving the police — is urging anyone who may have information about this investigation to contact the lead investigator at 1-800-787-8529. The unit is also urging anyone who may have any video evidence related to this incident to upload that video through the SIU website at www.siu.on.ca.
This story has been updated to clarify wording about the infant’s death.