Police watchdog investigating after man hit during 'exchange of gunfire' with officers in Vaughan

·2 min read

Ontario's police watchdog is investigating after a man was hit during "an exchange of gunfire" with officers in Vaughan on Monday.

The incident happened around 12:30 a.m. in a parking lot near Creditstone Road and Highway 7. The lot is shared by a banquet hall and an adjacent apartment building.

According to a York Regional Police news release, the incident happened after an officer tried to stop a vehicle for a Highway Traffic Act offence. Police say "an interaction" occurred between officers and the driver of the vehicle, but makes no mention of any shooting.

But a news release from the provincial police watchdog Special Investigations Unit (SIU) gives more details.

According to the SIU, after police first tried to stop the vehicle, officers later spotted it, and saw a man get out near a condo building. Officers followed the man, and soon after there was "an exchange of gunfire" between five officers and the man, the SIU says.

The man then ran off and the officers pursued him. That's when a second exchange of gunfire happened, according to the news release.

The man was hit multiple times and subsequently taken to hospital for treatment of serious injuries. The man's injuries are "suspected to be non-life-threatening," according to the SIU. Police say he is in stable condition.

Police taped off a large area of several city blocks around the scene overnight. A stretch of Highway 7 was also closed for a time.

The SIU says five officers are subject to the investigation, with two witness officers also designated.

The SIU is asking anyone with information about what happened to call its lead investigator at 1-800-787-8529. The unit is also urging anyone who video related to the incident to upload it through the agency's website.