Oneida community upset by shooting, seeking answers
Published Sunday, August 4, 2013 12:04PM EDT
The chief of the Oneida of the Thames First Nations says his community is “disturbed” by a gunfire exchange between a young man and police that happened at Oneida, south of London.
“My main job is for peace and calm,” says Joel Abram.
“It’s safe to say a number of people are disturbed. It was a tragic thing for any community.”
Ontario’s Special Investigations Unit (SIU) is probing the shooting and said the man was taken to hospital with gunshot wounds.
It says OPP were on the reserve Saturday morning investigating a robbery that happened Friday when they received information that a male was allegedly in a vehicle with a loaded gun.
Police found the vehicle and an armed male and gunfire was exchanged about 11 a.m., the SIU says.
A police officer was heard on a scanner indicating a male was only 250 feet away with a “loaded sawed-off shotgun in his right hand.”
Later, officers say the man was coming closer. A dispatcher could be heard saying the suspect was shot.
Abram says he has talked to the SIU, but only about “the process they’re undertaking.”
He hopes to get more information soon.
He says he has also spoken with the mother of the man who was shot and she was in Sault Ste. Marie at the time, but trying to get back.
“Her primary concern was to get home and to the hospital.”
He doesn’t know the condition of the victim, but says he is still in the hospital Sunday. The SIU says he suffered multiple gunshot wounds.
Abrams says he will not pass judgment on whether the police should have fired, until he gets more details.
He also says there will be help for those upset by the incident and for the family of the man.
“We have support we can offer.”
The SIU has assigned four investigators and two forensic investigators to probe the circumstances of this incident.