MISSISSAUGA, Ont. A 30-year-old man died after police deployed a stun gun during an altercation west of Toronto, officials said Wednesday, prompting Ontario’s police watchdog to launch an investigation.
The Special Investigations Unit said Peel Regional Police officers responded to a noise complaint at a home in Mississauga, Ont., around 3 a.m.
Spokeswoman Monica Hudon said officers found a man in the backyard of a home.
“As officers were attempting to communicate with the man, a struggle ensued,” she told reporters at the scene on Wednesday. “As part of the struggle, several use of force options were used, including the deployment of a conducted energy weapon.”
The man’s heart stopped beating and he stopped breathing in the backyard, Hudon said.
He was taken to hospital where he was pronounced dead shortly after 4 a.m., she said.
The police watchdog has set up a command centre in the area as the investigation continues.
“We’ve spoken to witnesses who have information as to what transpired,” Hudon said. “I can’t go into any details as to what they told us, but we’ve got in some good information this morning.”
The SIU said it has identified three officers who were involved in the incident and two others who witnessed it.
It’s unclear at this point how many officers were at the scene or what other “use of force options” were used, Hudon said.
The SIU is a civilian agency that looks into cases where there is a death, injury or allegation of sexual assault involving police.
This is the second stun gun-related death in Mississauga in recent months.
The SIU is also investigating the death of a 34-year-old man who died after police used a stun gun on him on Sept. 10.
In that case, the watchdog said, Peel officers responded to a domestic call in the Malton area around 9 p.m.
The SIU said the “officers became involved in an interaction with a man which involved the use of a conducted energy weapon.”
The agency said the man stopped breathing, his heart stopped beating and he was later pronounced dead in hospital.