Ontario’s Special Investigations Unit (SIU) says no charges will be laid against the Ottawa police officers who shot and killed 30 year old Gregory Ritchie, a member of the Saugeen First Nation.
The incident took place Jan. 31, 2019.
Police fired more than a dozen rounds at Ritchie who held what appears to be a tomahawk according to the report filed by the SIU.
He was hit by three bullets.
The officers involved in the shooting were Const. Thanh Tran and Daniel Vincelette.
Tran previously faced charges of assault causing bodily harm following the arrest of a 50-year-old homeless man in 2011, but was acquitted in 2013.
The director of the SIU Joseph Martino determined that “there are no reasonable grounds to lay criminal charges against any of the officers in relation to Mr. Ritchie’s death.”
Ritchie was reportedly walking to a pharmacy to pick up some medication.
(The mall on St. Laurent Blvd., in Ottawa’s east end where Ritchie was shot and killed. Photo courtesy: SIU)
Minutes before the pharmacy opened for the day Ottawa police were called to the strip mall about a “suspicious incident” involving a man allegedly seen entering the building with a knife in his hand.
An altercation ensued, during which Ritchie was shot.
One of the officers reportedly received minor injuries.
A family member told local media the Ojibwe man was living with mental illness and struggled to cope in public and crowded spaces.
He had recently moved to Ottawa from Kitchener, Ont. and was living with his brother and sister-in-law in the city’s south end.