Ontario SIU lays charges against OPP officer in shooting death of man in Chatham-Kent


The Ontario Special Investigation Unit has laid charges against an officer of the Ontario Provincial Police in shooting death of a man in Chatham-Kent.

“The Director of the Special Investigations Unit, Joseph Martino, has reasonable grounds to believe that an Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) officer committed criminal offences in relation to the shooting death of a 24-year-old man in Chatham-Kent last July,” the Ontario SIU said in a statement.

The statement further added that the investigation found that on July 7, 2021, the Chatham-Kent OPP responded to a call about a gasoline theft.

The Officers located the vehicle believed to be involved travelling westbound on Highway 401 and followed it, the Ontario SIU said, adding that the vehicle ended up in the ditch dividing the highway.

The Ontario SIU also added that one of the officers approached the vehicle, and his firearm discharged and shot the driver. The man died in hospital.

“As a result of the SIU investigation, Cst. Sean O’Rourke is charged with one count of manslaughter and one count of criminal negligence causing death, contrary to sections 236(a) and 220(a) of the Criminal Code, respectively,” the statement by SIU reads.

Cst. O’Rourke was arrested by members of the SIU today and subsequently released on an undertaking with conditions.

He is required to appear before the Ontario Court of Justice at 425 Grand Avenue West in Chatham on February 16, 2022.



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