The province’s police watchdog is investigating the death of a 62-year-old man who was shot by a Peel Region police officer in Mississauga on Saturday evening.
In a statement released on Sunday, the Special Investigations Unit (SIU) said that officers were called to an apartment unit at 3425 Morning Star Dr., near Goreway Drive, at about 5 p.m. to “check on the well-being of a man.”
Peel police Const. Sarah Patten said the initial call reported that the man was suffering from a medical condition and not taking his medication.
Patten said the man, who was alone in the unit, was in a “state of crisis” and believed to have weapons on him in his residence.
Muhammed Choudry said the victim was his uncle and he suffered from schizophrenia and other illnesses.
“He was a harmless man,” he said, adding that his uncle was “not a threat.”
Uniform and tactical officers, as well as officers with the force’s K9 unit, responded to the incident and communicated with the man, who had barricaded himself inside the residence.
Patten said officers were in constant communication with the man until just before 8 p.m., and then “no further communication was able to be made.”
“The state of crisis that he was in and the belief that he had access to weapons, yes, we believe that he was a danger to himself,” Patten told reporters Saturday night.
Due to his “extensive medical history” and lack of communication for almost 15 minutes, she said, officers made the decision to enter the residence “to check on his well-being.”
Once police entered the unit, “an interaction occurred which included officers deploying a conducted energy weapon at the man, as well as firing plastic projectiles from an Anti-Riot Weapon ENfield,” the SIU release said.
“When these had no effect, an officer discharged a firearm and the man was struck.”
He died at the scene shortly after.
Family pleaded to intervene
The victim’s brother, Rafaquat Ali Choudry, along with Muhammed, pleaded with police to let a family member go up to the unit to speak with the man.
Rafaquat said his brother didn’t speak any English and was scared of police — his condition made him paranoid.
Muhammed said he’s grown up knowing his uncle’s medical condition, having dealt with situations like this before.
“Let me go upstairs, let my dad go upstairs, let my brother go upstairs,” he recalls asking police.
“Because we’ve done this before where he listens. He listens to us.”
Victim was a husband, father of 4
Muhammed said his uncle, who has been identified by family members as Ejiz Ahmed Choudry, leaves behind a wife and four children, the youngest being seven years old.
From Pakistan, Ejiz was the eldest brother of five children.
Abdul Mulla, who lived on the same floor as Ejiz, was there when the incident occurred.
He was told by police to stay inside his own unit, where he said he heard bangs from the neighbouring residence.
Mulla said Ejiz was a nice person, adding that he was “no trouble to anyone.”
“He was a very nice guy,” he said. “Everybody respected him.”
Six investigators and three forensic investigators have been assigned to the case.
Anyone with information or who has witness video is asked to contact the lead investigator at 1-800-787-8529.
The SIU investigates cases involving police where there has been a death, serious injury or allegations of sexual assault.