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Police watchdog finds police shooting of Napanee, Ont., man saved his life

The Special Investigations Unit headquarters in Mississauga. CITYNEWS

Ontario’s police watchdog says a provincial police officer who shot a man with a non-lethal round in August 2016 was partly responsible for saving the man’s life.

Acting Special Investigations Unit director Joseph Martino says there are no grounds to charge the OPP officer in the shooting of a 30-year-old Napanee, Ont., man.

The SIU says a woman called 911 on Aug. 23, 2016, saying she’d ended a relationship with the man the previous evening and he had emailed her indicating he was going to kill himself.

When officers arrived, the man put a BB gun to his head and pulled the trigger, but the gun would not fire, so he doused himself in lighter fluid and told the officers that he would light himself on fire.

Later, the officers saw the man cut himself numerous times on the chest and an officer fired two plastic rounds, one of them striking the man and breaking his clavicle and allowing police to apprehend him.

Martino says the officer’s actions fell within the range of what was reasonably necessary in the circumstances to detain the man, save his life and ensure public safety.