The Independent Investigation Unit of Manitoba has cleared a Winnipeg police officer in connection with the shooting of a man, who was later charged with murder, in October 2019.
Officers responded to a domestic disturbance at a home in Elmwood on the morning of Oct. 18, 2019.
Officers were approached by a man who allegedly carried a knife. One officer fired a shot that struck the man in the left shoulder, while the other used a Taser. The man was taken to the hospital with "one gunshot wound and what appeared to be self-inflicted lacerations to his neck," the police watchdog said in a news release on Thursday.
Its probe involved reviewing police notes and reports, interviewing officers who were at the scene, and attempting to speak with the man who was shot. "Investigators also reviewed the supplementary occurrence report, audio of the 911 telephone calls, WPS radio communications, scene photographs, (Taser) download report, WPS firearm qualification information, the affected person’s medical report, and the forensic identification unit report," the IIU said.
IIU civilian director Zane Tessler ruled the officer’s actions were "justified, unavoidable, and necessary to prevent death or injury to the attending officers."
When officers searched the home on the 300 block of Riverton Avenue, they discovered a woman had been killed. Karen Jane Letniak, 48, was the 32nd homicide victim of 2019.
Cody Don Saunders, 26, was later charged with second-degree murder.
Updated on Thursday, May 21, 2020 at 9:55 PM CDT: Updates story