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May. 18, 2022 | Wednesday
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NOTLer questions why police shot fleeing suspect
Robert King at his Niagara Parkway home. (Richard Harley)

If man was unarmed, why did officer have to shoot him, Robert King wonders


Robert King has questions about why police needed to shoot to kill during an incident that left 27-year-old Martin Gordyn dead on Jan. 5.

Niagara Regional Police shot Gordyn in Niagara-on-the-Lake after a car chase that started in Niagara Falls.

King, who lives on the Niagara Parkway near where the shooting occurred and saw the police chase go by his house, said it's been bugging him and thinks from the information currently available that police went too far in shooting the man.

Police did not say the man was carrying a weapon, King notes.

"And I'm thinking, do we shoot people today for speeding or what's going on? Has this guy killed somebody or something? They didn't mention anything about weapons," he said.

"Had he had a gun, that would have been mentioned right up front. They want to cover their ass right away."

Despite the incident being investigated by the Special Investigations Unit (the province's police watchdog) he said he feels if residents like him don't come out and question the incident, it will be "swept under the rug."

Shooting the suspect, he thinks, was unnecessary if he wasn't armed.

"They went way overboard. First of all, chasing him with about six cop cars," he said. "They've got to be held accountable. I mean to kill somebody is a pretty big deal."

He said with events like the killing of George Floyd in the U.S., it brings up a lot of questions for him about the use of police force in today's society.

Killing an unarmed man is equally outrageous, he thinks.

"(It) kind of bothered me that these things go on in Ontario."

He was critical of regional police forces in particular.

"We complain about the American police and what goes on in the United States and I know it's terrible in itself, but I think our (regional police) system is even more corrupt."