SCUGOG: The Special Investigations Unit (SIU) has decided that no charges will be laid against a Durham Police officer who shot and killed a man at a Canterbury Common residence in January.
The announcement was made early on Monday, Sept. 26. SIU Director Tony Loparco explained, in a statement, that the officer’s actions were reasonable.
“The officer was faced with a dangerous and dynamic situation that unfolded quickly over a mere 52 seconds. His fear for his own safety was both subjectively and objectively reasonable, and his actions were directed towards self-preservation,” he said. “His decision to fire his gun was reasonable in the circumstances, and he only did so when he had no other options.”
The incident occurred on the evening of Saturday, Jan. 16 at a home on Waterbury Cres. According to the SIU, the officer in question was responding to a 911 call about a distraught male, who was reportedly armed with a knife and was trying to kill himself. The SIU report also states he had a female cornered in the house.
The report goes on to state that when the officer arrived on scene, a frantic young woman approached the officer stating “‘He’s going to kill us, you have to get up there.” Shortly after, the man, later identified as 59 year-old Gerald Rattu, advanced on the officer with the knife, and there was a confrontation.
Mr. Rattu repeatedly challenged the officer to shoot him. The police officer fired twice, striking the man once. The man then fell into a nearby snowbank. The officer then applied pressure to the wound.
In a press release, Director Loparco said that before the shooting, the officer “considered alternative use-of-force options to his firearm”. However, he thought none of them would be effective in the situation.
Mr. Rattu was declared dead at Lakeridge Health Port Perry.