News / Winnipeg

No charges against Winnipeg police officers who fatally shot driver with gun

WINNIPEG — An investigation has concluded that Winnipeg police were justified in shooting an armed man whose family had warned could be suicidal and looking to kill someone.

Haki Sefa, who was 44, died in September 2015 when three officers shot at him after he pointed a gun during an altercation following a police pursuit near Bird's Hill Park.

The investigation ruled that the officers' actions were justified and unavoidable, and no charges should be laid.

Police spotted the man's white work van and pulled it over after getting a call from his family saying they were concerned about his intentions.

The review heard from more than 20 witnesses who all said Sefa got out of his van and pointed a gun — statements that were consistent with evidence found at the scene.

It also found that the plumber and father of four was intent on taking his life.

"His action of pointing his pistol at a police officer is consistent with a person who wishes to instigate a police shooting to accomplish that purpose," Ron MacDonald, director of the Serious Incident Response Team in Nova Scotia, said in a release Thursday.

"This is an unfortunate yet recurring circumstance seen across Canada in situations similar to this."

The Sefa case was the first major one for the Independent Investigation Unit of Manitoba, the province's police watchdog. But its civilian director had to recuse himself because he was involved in the prosecution of Sefa in 2011, so the Nova Scotia team was called in.

Manitoba's acting chief medical examiner has called an inquest into the death.

 

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