Ottawa police have been cleared of criminal wrongdoing after killing a bank robbery suspect armed with a replica handgun.

Paul Jeffrey, 27, died March 6 when police shot him shortly after he was seen fleeing from a bank that had just been robbed.

According to the Special Investigations Unit, Jeffrey at one point faced an officer and threatened to shoot with what appeared to be a black pistol.


It’s that action they say prompted police to fire at him, though they later determined the gun was fake.

Jeffrey died of multiple gunshot injuries, but the SIU couldn’t say which of four officers fired the fatal shot.

In its decision, the SIU said police have the authority under the Criminal Code to use lethal force against a suspect if it will protect others from death or grievous bodily harm.

“Even though the pistol was not real, Mr. Jeffrey behaved in a manner that would cause a reasonable person to conclude that it was real,” SIU director Ian Scott said in a statement.

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