WINNIPEG – No charges will be laid against three Winnipeg police officers who shot and killed a man on Highway 59.
Haki Sefa, 44, was killed near Birds Hill Park in November of 2015.
A lengthy investigation by Manitoba’s Independent Investigation Unit has cleared the officers of any wrongdoing.
The investigation, which included interviews with the officers and witnesses, forensic examinations, autopsies and 911 audio, has revealed Sefa pointed a pistol at the officers when they stopped his van.
Ron MacDonald, brought in from Nova Scotia to lead the investigation, said that left officers with little choice.
“If someone points a gun at you or someone you’re with, that presents an immediate risk of death,” he said. “In those circumstances the law permits the use of deadly force.”
Police had been pursuing Sefa since sometime earlier that night in Transcona. His family had called 911 concerned that he was planning to kill himself and possibly another man.
The pursuit lead them outside the city when police decided to stop Sefa.
“There goal no doubt was to arrest him and take him into custody,” said MacDonald. “Unfortunately, he made the decision to come out of the vehicle with a gun pointed at an officer.”
Sefa had been struggling with mental health issues. MacDonald said this appears to be another example of a so called suicide by cop.
“A male who chose to end his life by instigating police to shoot at him, something which is a recurring circumstance in Canada, quite unfortunately.”
The officers who shot Sefa are all back at work. MacDonald says he broke the news to Sefa’s family and they had plenty of questions but were accepting.