A tragedy unfolded for a family on Thanksgiving that started with an estranged father taking his one-year-old baby son and ended with that father and son shot. The father is currently in critical condition and the baby tragically died.
The incident began when officers were alerted about an alleged domestic dispute in Kawartha Lakes in Ontario. According to police, the dispute involved a firearm and the abduction of the one-year-old baby by his father.
A resident told local news that after the abduction the woman, her son and a therapist knocked on his door looking for shelter.
“Some people came to the house and wanted in, for a safe haven, and there was something about the husband had left with the little baby,” said Tom Deciccio.
When police located the father on a rural country road, all hell broke loose when his truck collided with another vehicle and a police vehicle.
According to the Special Investigations Unit (SIU), which investigates instances when police officers in Ontario kill, seriously injure or sexually assault someone, the incident unfolded as follows:
- At approximately 8:45 a.m. on November 26, 2020, the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) was made aware that a father had abducted his son from the Municipality of Trent Lakes.
- A short time later, the OPP located a vehicle of interest – a pickup truck – in the City of Kawartha Lakes on Sturgeon Road. Officers attempted to stop the truck.
- On Pigeon Lake Road, the truck became involved in a collision with an OPP cruiser and a civilian vehicle. At that time, an OPP officer was standing outside of the cruiser and he sustained serious injuries.
- An interaction ensued between the 33-year-old vehicle driver and officers, and three officers discharged their firearms. The man was struck and airlifted to the hospital in grave condition.
- Inside the pickup truck was a one-year-old boy. He had sustained a gunshot wound and was pronounced deceased at the scene.
Andy Letham, the mayor of Kawartha Lakes, told the National Post the community was shocked. With everyone already on edge because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Thursday’s tragic event added an extra layer of distress to his rural community.
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“In a small community like this, it certainly caught everybody off guard.”
Police have yet to say who fired the fatal shot that killed the baby or if the father fired any shots at all from the gun found in the vehicle. However, had there been a gun fight, police would have likely released that information first.
The SIU said three police firearms had been seized and were to be sent for forensic examination. A fourth weapon, a handgun, was found inside the pickup truck, and investigators were waiting to take possession of it.
When looking at the photo of the crash scene it appears that the truck was completely immobilized and could not pose a threat to anyone after the collision. So the reason police opened fire remains unclear. However, all three officers fired into the truck, meaning they all perceived the same threat — whether it was real or not.
According to reports, the father remains in critical condition while the officer he struck with the truck is recovering.
While we do not yet know who fired the fatal shots that killed the one-year-old, TFTP has reported on incidents like this before which have left multiple children shot or dead at the hands of police firing into cars occupied by children.
As TFTP reported last year, a rather disturbing scene unfolded in Oklahoma City as police officers attempting to kill a robbery suspect opened fire on four small children inside his truck, shooting three of them. For months, the family and residents demanded answers and the police remained silent. After the police refused to hold anyone accountable, the mother of the three children who were shot took legal action in the form of a lawsuit earlier this year.
Another tragic case of police officer shooting into a vehicle is the case of Jeremy Mardis, a 6-year-old boy who was murdered on video by officer Norris Greenhouse Jr. in 2015. Like the children in the examples above, Mardis was with his father when police opened fire — killing him. After being convicted in the murder of a child, Greenhouse servedless than two years in jail.