A judge says a fatal shooting by Winnipeg police in 2019 was in response to a real threat posed by an armed man.
The inquest report from Manitoba Provincial Court Judge Julie Frederickson said the officers initially intended to use lethal force and only opened fire when Chad Williams moved to throw the hatchet at the officers.
Williams, 26, was shot and killed in a vacant lot in Winnipeg on January 11, 2019, after a short police chase.
The investigation said Williams stopped near a tall fence and was surrounded by officers in a semi-circle.
The judge says Williams was high on methamphetamine, ignored commands to drop the hatchet and police did not try to stop him with a stun gun.
According to the report, Williams raised the hatchet above his head and died after being shot at the hospital.
“The amount of force used by officers to control and contain the threat posed by Mr. Williams was consistent with their training and appropriate under the circumstances,” Frederickson wrote.
“The use of deadly force was in response to an actual threat that Mr. Williams was going to throw the hatchet at the officers. Had the throw been completed, one of the officers could have been struck and seriously injured.”
The judge made no recommendations in his report and noted that there was no delay in calling an ambulance and seeking medical attention.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published on October 20, 2022