No charges for Toronto officer who killed Andrew Loku
Two police officers confronted Loku on the third floor hallway of an apartment building on Gilbert Ave. the evening of July 5, 2015.
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The Toronto police officer who fatally shot Andrew Loku in his apartment building last July will not face criminal charges, Ontario’s police watchdog announced Friday afternoon.
The unnamed officer did not exceed “the ambit of justifiable force in the circumstances,” Special Investigations Unit director Tony Loparco said in a statement.
Two police officers confronted Loku on the third floor hallway of an apartment building on Gilbert Ave. the evening of July 5, 2015, after receiving a 911 call from a person saying that Loku was armed with a hammer and threatening to kill the caller’s friend, according to the statement.
The pair were about 8 to 9 metres from Loku, and repeatedly ordered him to stop and drop the hammer as he began to walk toward them, Loparco wrote, adding that Loku said to the officers: “What you gonna do, come on, shoot me.”
He was shot twice within 3 metres of the officer, as he had the hammer raised above his head, the statement says. A postmortem confirmed the gunshot wounds to the left chest as the cause of death.
“Both responding officers repeatedly directed Mr. Loku to drop the hammer and they gave him ample opportunity to do so as Mr. Loku advanced upon their position. The subject officer considered disengaging and creating further distance with Mr. Loku, but quickly dismissed the notion given the tight quarters involved,” Loparco wrote.
“The door frame, the narrow hallway, and the stairwell behind them did not give the officers the opportunity to create space or distance. It was only when Mr. Loku had closed the gap between them to about a couple of metres – and it was apparent he was not about to stop – that the officer discharged his firearm.”
He said he had “no doubt” the officer shot Loku — the subject officer — and his partner feared for their lives.
Loparco said the subject officer did participate in an SIU interview and provided a copy of his notes.