SIU discontinues investigation into Port Hope police officer who shot at fleeing stolen truck

Police watchdog concludes the officer, who was struck in the face by her ricocheting bullet, fired at the truck's wheel and not driver in July incident

The Port Hope police station at 55 Fox Road in Port Hope. (Photo: Port Hope Police Service)
The Port Hope police station at 55 Fox Road in Port Hope. (Photo: Port Hope Police Service)

Ontario’s police watchdog has discontinued its investigation into a Port Hope police officer who fired her gun at a stolen pickup truck in July, turning the matter over to the Port Hope Police Service.

According to preliminary inquiries by the Special Investigations Unit (SIU), Port Hope police officers went to a McDonalds drive-thru at 175 Rose Glen Road on Sunday, July 30th after receiving information that a stolen vehicle and man wanted by police was there.

In an effort to arrest the driver, officers blocking his vehicle in with their vehicles and directed him to turn off the engine. The man then attempted to flee officers in the truck.

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As the vehicle passed an officer, an officer took aim at the wheel on the driver’s side and shot her firearm. The bullet ricocheted off the wheel and struck the officer in her face. The driver fled the scene in the stolen pickup truck. The injured officer was transported to Northumberland Hills Hospital, where she was treated and released.

Due to the nature of the incident, the SIU invoked its mandate. The SIU is a civilian law enforcement agency, independent of the police, that conducts criminal investigations into circumstances involving police and civilians that have resulted in serious injury, death, or allegations of sexual assault.

After completing its preliminary inquiries, the SIU announced on Thursday (November 30) that it was terminating its investigation.

“Based on video footage and utterances made by another officer in the immediate aftermath of the shooting, it established the officer fired in the direction of the wheel, not the driver,” reads an SIU media release. “As such, it does not appear that the matter falls within the SIU’s statutory jurisdiction. This matter has been referred to the police service for investigation as they deem necessary.”

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The Port Hope Police Service has issued a media release stating that they will be reviewing the incident “in its entirety.”

“The wellness of our officer, mentally and physically, has been our priority,” the media release states. “The support from all members of the Port Hope Police Service will continue. Policing is an extremely challenging profession, and our officers are faced with split second decisions based on previous experiences as well as their training.”

Early in the morning following the incident, Northumberland OPP arrested the 29-year-old driver of the stolen pickup truck. Jordan Denny of Cobourg was charged with two counts of dangerous operation of a vehicle, flight from police, and possession of property obtained by crime over $5,000.