Shooting suspect dead, police officer in stable condition, after courthouse shooting
Published Friday, March 28, 2014 11:22AM EDT
Last Updated Friday, March 28, 2014 8:38PM EDT
One man is dead, and a police officer is in hospital in "stable" condition after a shooting at a Toronto-area courthouse Friday morning.
Police identified the officer as Const. Mike Klarenbeek, a veteran officer who had been assigned to the court for "some time", and has close to 30 years on the force. An ambulance, escorted by police cruisers, transported the injured officer to a trauma centre in Toronto, where he is being treated.
Ontario’s Special Investigations Unit issued a statement saying a man entered the Brampton, Ont. courthouse Friday morning around 11 a.m., shooting a firearm and injuring a police officer.
There was an altercation between the suspect and Peel region police officers, during which an officer discharged his firearm.
The shooting suspect was pronounced dead.
A criminal lawyer who was inside the courthouse described what she heard in an interview with CP24.
An announcement played over the speakers in the courtroom telling everyone they'd be locked into court rooms while police secured the scene, Sangeeta Patel said.
"We were locked in for 45 minutes," she said. At noon, they were permitted to leave the courtrooms, but couldn't leave the building.
Most civilians were kept inside the courthouse around 1:30 p.m. as police investigated the scene.
One man said he heard six shots while he was in the courthouse’s foyer.
"I thought it was a firecracker," he said, adding that his back was turned at the time of the shooting.
When he turned around, he saw a man in a trench coat standing by the metal detectors at the court's entrance.
He described what he thought was a police officer on the ground who appeared to be holding his chest. "He was bleeding, I could see it,” he said. "I'm still shaking.”
The SIU has invoked its mandate at the courthouse, meaning the police watchdog will be conducting its own investigation parallel to that of Peel police. There are a dozen investigators and three forensics experts assigned to the case.
The organization is called in when police are involved in any incident where someone has been injured, killed or sexually assaulted.
Anyone who may have information on the events is asked to contact the lead SIU investigator at 416-622-1886416-622-1886, or 1-800-787-85291-800-787-8529, ext. 1886.
Speaking with reporters Friday afternoon, Peel Regional Police Chief Jennifer Evans thanked the community for the “outpouring of support” for the injured officer. She said Peel police are awaiting “the outcome of the investigation by the SIU.”