For two days, yellow police tape hung outside an Orangeville home.
The province’s Special Investigations Unit (SIU) is now looking further into the circumstances that led to the death of an Orangeville man.
Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) Dufferin Detachment received a call shortly before midnight on Friday (March 19) and responded to a home on Wellington Street due to an altercation between two individuals.
According to Dufferin police, once they arrived on scene a male victim was found outside suffering from an apparent gunshot wound. The victim was transported to a trauma centre with non-life threatening injuries.
The suspect, a 54-year-old man, police said had barricaded himself and two other individuals inside of the home.
Officers from the Dufferin Crime Unit and the OPP Integrated Response Team, which includes the Emergency Response Unit (ERT), Tactics and Rescue Unit (TRU), Canine Unit and OPP Crisis Negotiators were called to assist with the incident.
Police said after a “lengthy” negotiation the two individuals were removed from the home and checked by Dufferin Emergency Services with no reported injuries.
OPP officers just before 10 a.m. on Saturday (March 20) entered the home and located the man in the basement, having sustained a fatal gunshot wound.
The SIU said at this time it does not appear that a police-issued firearm was discharged.
The Ontario SPCA later arrived to remove two dogs from the home. Three cats that were missing from the home, were later found.
Residents in the area spoke with the Citizen, recalling being evacuated in the early morning hours.
“I got up out of bed around 4 [a.m.] and I saw the flashing light in the window and that’s how I figured out what was going on,” said Terry Brooker. “It wasn’t long after that they kicked us out.”
Another resident, spoke about the scene as police arrived.
“We saw a couple of cop cars, we just thought somebody was pulled over, and then more showed up, and then more, then the big SUVs, the technical vans, we knew something was going on. They started getting out of the vans in camouflage, full tactical gear, and rifles.”
Residents that spoke with the Citizen, said they didn’t hear any gunshots prior to the incidents.
The SIU was contacted by OPP and invoked their mandate. As the province’s police watchdog, they investigate incidents involving police where there is serious injury, death, or allegations of sexual assault.
Three investigators and two forensic investigators have been assigned to the case.
Since the incident, family members of the suspect have taken to social media to discuss mental health.
Anyone with information about the incident, including video evidence such as dash cam or home security, is being asked to contact the lead investigator of the case at 1-800-787-8529.
Paula Brown, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Shelburne Free Press