Criminal wrongdoing ruled out in fatal shooting of Corner Brook man Jorden McKay

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Jorden McKay was shot by an on-duty member of the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary in 2018. (Facebook - image credit)
Jorden McKay was shot by an on-duty member of the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary in 2018. (Facebook - image credit)
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An external investigation into the death of a Corner Brook man fatally shot by an on-duty Royal Newfoundland Constabulary police officer found no criminal conduct in the matter.

The Nov. 27, 2018 shooting killed 27-year-old Jorden McKay.

The findings of the investigation were released Monday by Newfoundland and Labrador's serious-incident response team, which oversaw the Ontario Provincial Police probe into McKay's death.

According to the SIRT-NL report, police had been called to McKay's home on Carriage Lane by his former girlfriend after allegedly breaching conditions not to contact her. Officers noticed the woman had a swollen bottom lip and cheekbone.

He also had a four-page criminal record that included charges of assault and unlawfully being in a dwelling and convictions of assault with a weapon.

McKay charged with knife, officer said

On the night of Nov. 27, police arrived at McKay's home and spoke to him on his doorstep, according to a statement from the officer contained within the SIRT report.

At one point, officers allowed him back inside his home after McKay said he had food in the oven.

"[McKay] was loud and aggressive," read the officer's statement. "He became more animated and sprinted toward the stove. He opened the stove and then reached into a butcher's block."

McKay then allegedly grabbed a knife and held it above his head in a "stabbing position," displaying a "very aggressive stance." The report says he started running at the officers, still standing in his doorway.

After several attempts by police to get McKay to drop the knife, the officer shot McKay in the arm. He threw the knife to the side after dropping to the ground, the officer stated.

Police later confirmed the officer had been on the job for less than a month. He told investigators he was in fear for his life when he drew and fired his weapon.

According to the report, the bullet travelled through McKay's shoulder and into his rib cage. He was pronounced dead an hour later, after being taken to hospital.

Use of force justified: report

The officer and his partner were placed on leave immediately after the shooting and assigned to administrative duties on their return to work, former RNC Chief Joe Boland told CBC News in 2018.

According to SIRT, the OPP obtained a use-of-force report from an unidentified expert in the field, which deemed the use of lethal force to be reasonable to defend the officers from perceived harm.

WATCH: Police were on the scene following the shooting in Nov. 2018:

"Due to the suddenness of the events there was also little to no opportunity to employ other less than lethal options or to plan for same using a lethal offset," part of the report reads.

"Such actions would have required conscious thought and communication between [the male officer] and [the female officer] in an already time compressed and dynamic incident."

As part of a news release issued alongside the report, SIRT-NL director Mike King said he found no evidence of bias, tunnel vision or lack of objectivity in the investigation.

The investigation has now been concluded, according to King.

Read the full text of the SIRT-NL report:

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