Consistent with our Use of Force Policy on the Discharge of a Firearm there is a full investigation being conducted. This was launched immediately at the conclusion of the incident by the two officers involved.
Once the investigation is complete, it will be submitted to our Use of Force Board who will review and determine recommendations and next steps. The investigative package is also forwarded to the Saskatchewan Police Commission for review.
It’s important to note that if a public complaint is also received on this incident, the Public Complaints Commission will conduct their own independent investigation into this incident.
On March 23rd at 7:30pm we received several calls for service in the 1100 block of Retallack Street stating that an assault was in progress. Upon arrival, police located a severely injured male who was transported by EMS and treated in hospital for serious injuries. Multiple witnesses were able to provide information that 3 suspects had fled the area along with some clothing descriptions. A Canine officer and dog arrived with a Patrol officer and the Canine established a track. The track indicated that the suspects had fled into the yards in the 1000 block of Rae Street. The officer had control of the police service dog in it’s tracking harness and leash.
The officer observed an individual in a yard in the 1000 block of Rae who appeared to match the suspect description. Entrance in to the yard for the canine officer and police service dog was gained by a partially opened gate. The other officer jumped the fence. The incident happened extremely quickly and it’s important to note that it wasn’t immediately apparent that there was a dog in the yard, or that the dog was on a chain. Upon entering the yard, the canine, and two officers were immediately confronted with a dog. The dog was later determined to be on a long chain with access to a significant amount of the yard.
Escape or retreat for the officers and police service dog (PSD) was very difficult. The dog engaged the PSD immediately. The canine officer then immediately attempted to separate the two dogs and found himself in a physical confrontation with the dog in order to keep the patrol officer and the PSD safe. The patrol officer came to the canine officer’s aid by joining the physical struggle. The patrol officer realized that they were losing the struggle and feared serious injury to himself, the canine officer and the PSD. The patrol officer made the decision to end the fight fearing for his life and the life of the canine officer. He withdrew his sidearm and fired a single shot. The dog retreated and later died at the scene.
Anytime an officer discharges a firearm, it is a difficult situation. We ask for patience as we conduct a full investigation.