Newfoundland and Labrador’s police watchdog has completed an investigation into the June 2021 shooting death of Roy Freak in Grand Falls-Windsor and says the officer who killed him will not be criminally charged.
In a report released Thursday, Mike King, director of the provincial Serious Incident Response Team, wrote, “I do not believe there are reasonable grounds to believe the subject officer has committed a criminal offence.”
The report doesn’t name Freak — instead, it refers to him as an “affected person” or “AP” — but the details match the circumstances of his death in 2021. The report also does not name the officer, referring to him as “subject officer” or “SO.”
Freak, 37, broke into his ex-girlfriend’s home on Monchy Road in the early hours of June 11, 2011, where she lived with her baby and 14-year-old son.
Freak’s ex-girlfriend, Amanda Antle, told CBC News in the week of the shooting that he held two steak knives to her neck during the break-in, which she said was failed by the mental health and justice system.
About 12 hours before the shooting, Freak was in police custody for violating court orders, but was released on bail. One of the conditions of his release was that he had to live out of Grand Falls-Windsor, but Antle and Freak’s father said his truck was towed, he had no way to make the trip from central Newfoundland to his parents’ home on Fogo Island, and He went without the necessary medication for 24 hours.
The RCMP has not commented on the incident and has not confirmed Freak’s identity.
According to a witness statement in the SIRT report, a witness identified as AP’s ex-girlfriend said she was awakened by the sound of breaking glass and someone rummaging through the kitchen utensil drawer.
APA kicked down the bedroom door, where the woman was with her boyfriend and child, the report said. AP, the report says, each had steak knives in hand, threatened to kill them and attacked the boyfriend.
The boyfriend stopped AP, who was lunching his ex-girlfriend with his knives, by picking up a mattress to block him. The cut boyfriend also called 911.
When the police arrived, breaking down the door to enter the house, AP grabbed his ex-girlfriend and dragged her to the floor, using knives on either side of her throat as a shield. He orders the police to back off, threatening to kill her if they don’t.
An officer used a Taser, which did not incapacitate him, possibly because the probe of the stun gun could not penetrate layers of AP’s clothing, according to the report.
“She tried to pull the trigger again but nothing happened,” reads a witness account of another police officer at the scene.
“After this, she heard the first shot coming from the left. Then she heard the second shot.”
The officer believed the man was going to kill himself with a knife
The officer who fired the fatal shot gave a written statement to SIRT through his lawyer. The statement notes that AP shouted for his ex-girlfriend when he was about to kill her.
“My client believed 100 percent that the male was going to stab the female and possibly the child to death,” the statement said.
The officer’s lawyer said his client had no choice and no time to resolve the incident in another way.
“He fired two rounds from his service pistol to stop the assassination attempt,” the lawyer wrote.
A use-of-force expert interviewed for the inquiry said AP had “the ability, intent and means to cause death or serious bodily harm.”
“I am of opinion [the officer]The use of deadly force was measured and appropriate,” the expert wrote.
“was [the officer] He did not fire his weapon when he did, it is probable [the man] Could have started stabbing [the woman] and/or his son and perhaps [her boyfriend] Also, many times before any official is able to intervene.”
King said the results of the forensic examination were consistent with witness statements.
In the report, the chief medical examiner says the cause of death was a gunshot wound to the chest, with one bullet entering his right arm and re-entering the chest and the other bullet hitting the right side.
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