Wednesday, July 24, 2024

SIU investigating death of man in Tyendinaga Township

Stock photo of SIU vehicles on scene at an investigation in 2022. Photo via SIU website.

Content warning: This article contains reference to self-harm and suicidality.

Following a situation that saw an increased police presence in Tyendinaga, the province’s Special Investigations Unit (SIU) has invoked its mandate to investigate the circumstances around the death of a local man.

On Saturday, Jun. 15, 2024, several officers with the Lennox and Addington (L&A) County Detachment of the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) responded to the area of Enright Road between Weese Road and Read Road at approximately 9:45 a.m. Residents in the area reported a large police presence, and indicated those in the area had been asked to remain indoors, however, the OPP have not confirmed that anyone was asked to shelter in place.

At 10:27 a.m., the OPP East Region Communications Team posted to social media about the incident, noting that Enright Road was closed between Weese and Read Roads in Tyendinaga “due to a police investigation.” Almost an hour later, at 11:25 a.m., the OPP East Region again posted on social media, noting that “There is no threat to public safety,” and that the “investigation is ongoing.”

By 5 p.m., one person was dead, though the circumstances around that death were not clear. The OPP East Region posted to social media at 4:56 p.m. that L&A OPP officers had “responded to a 911 call at a residence on Enright Road.”

“Officers are investigating a non-suspicious death,” the post read, noting that the SIU had invoked its mandate, and reiterating that there was no threat to public safety.

The L&A OPP did not respond to Kingstonist inquiries, and the OPP East Region told Kingstonist that any media inquiries about this matter should be directed to the SIU.

The same day at 7:54 p.m., the SIU issued a media release announcing they were investigating the death of a man in Tyendinaga Township, specifically “the circumstances surrounding the death of a 66-year-old man this morning in Tyendinaga Township.”

In the release, the SIU indicated that the L&A OPP responded to the residence on Enright Road after a 911 call was placed “about a man in mental distress” at approximately 9:35 a.m. The release goes on to say that officers attempted to communicate with the man in distress, however, “the man was located outside the residence with a self-inflicted gunshot wound. He was pronounced deceased at the scene.”

According to the SIU, their agency has assigned three investigators and one forensic investigator to the case. 

Anyone who may have information about the investigation, including any video or photos that might be relevant, is asked to contact the SIU at 1-800-787-8529, or online at siu.on.ca/en/appeals.php.

“If you or someone you know is an affected person in need of support, please call the Affected Persons Program General Referral Line at 1-877-641-1897 or click here for more information: siu.on.ca/en/apc.php,” the SIU stated.

Ontario’s SIU is an independent, arm’s-length government agency that investigates the conduct of law enforcement officials that may have resulted in death, serious injury, sexual assault, and/or the discharge of a firearm at a person. All investigations are conducted by SIU investigators who are civilians, according to the organization.

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