A man shot dead by police after reports of a person with a rifle forced several schools to close in Toronto on Thursday actually had a pellet gun, the Ontario police watchdog says.
The Special Investigations Unit (SIU) also says the man was 27 years old.
Toronto Police Chief James Ramer said officers were called to the Port Union area of Scarborough around 1 pm to reports of a person with a gun.
According to police, several residents called 9-1-1 with reports of a man in his late teens or early 20s with a rifle. Callers described him wearing a white cap and three-quarter coat.
At a Thursday afternoon news conference, Ramer said officers were “confronted” by the man, who he confirmed was dead. Ramer declined to provide further details, citing the SIU investigation.
On Friday morning, the SIU confirmed to CBC News that a pellet gun was recovered at the scene. It is unclear whether the man was holding the gun when police located him.
SIU spokeswoman Kristy Denette said preliminary details indicate that two officers fired their weapons at the suspect.
“The investigation is ongoing to determine the circumstances that led the police to shoot the man,” Denette said.
The agency says it has assigned four investigators and three forensic investigators to the case.
A post-mortem examination is scheduled for tomorrow, says the SIU.
The incident comes just two days after a gunman entered a Texas elementary school classroom and killed 19 children and two teachers.
Police said after the shooting that there was no major threat to public safety, but that officers would be stepping up patrols in the area for the time being.