Canadian Police-Involved Deaths in March 2024

Apr 1, 2024

Canadian Police-Involved Deaths in March 2024

Calgary police vehicle.

At least 11 people were killed in Canadian police actions in March 2024. These deaths include people who were directly killed by police, as in police shootings, or died during police deployments or in police custody. In March, three people were shot and killed by police, two were killed during a police vehicle chase, and five died in custody or during an arrest. One person was killed in an “altercation” with private security.

At least five people were killed in Canadian police actions in February 2024, while at least four people had their lives taken in police actions in January 2024. There were at least 97 police-involved deaths in Canada in 2023, while in 2022, there were at least 117 police-involved deaths.

The details below are based on police reports, reports from oversight agencies, and in some cases information from families. As always, because there are no formal, systemic mechanisms for documenting and reporting police killings publicly in Canada, all numbers presented for police-involved deaths represent an undercount. In addition to the known cases, there are cases of police-involved deaths that have no reporting. 

Two of the victims have been named publicly at this time. They are Darryl Sabourin, a 45-year-old Dene man, and Patrick Robert Kimmel, also 45.


March 2. Halton Regional Police. Shot.

Ontario’s Special Investigations Unit (SIU) is investigating the fatal shooting of a man by two Halton Regional Police Service officers early in the morning of March 2, at an Oakville residence.

According to the SIU, at around 1:40 AM, officers went to a residence on Stanbury Road after receiving a 911 call about a stabbing. After arriving, police located a man inside the residence and shot him. He was pronounced dead at the scene. Another man was located with serious injuries and was taken to hospital.

The SIU has assigned six investigators and three forensic investigators to examine the case. Two subject officials and four witness officials have been designated at this time.


March 2. RCMP. Bramber, Nova Scotia. Arrest.

The Nova Scotia Serious Incident Response Team (SIRT) is investigating a man’s death during an arrest on March 2. They report that RCMP officers responded to an unknown emergency 911 call at a residence in Bramber, West Hants, at around 4 AM and arrested a man for allegedly obstructing a police officer. During the arrest, the man went into medical distress and was pronounced dead at the scene.


March 6. Darryl Sabourin. Hospital Security.

Darryl Sabourin, a 45-year-old Dene father of four from Hay River, NWT, was killed after what is described as “an altercation” with security officers at the University of Alberta Hospital in Edmonton on March 6. It is reported that Mr. Sabourin checked himself into the hospital for detox treatment for alcohol addiction on March 4.

His sister-in-law Shauna Gordon claims that he was restrained by “peace officers” and believes that they used excessive force on him. Gordon says that staff told her Mr. Sabourin had been restrained by peace officers after growing agitated in the facility’s detox area early that morning. She reports that he was restrained and eventually became unresponsive. Resuscitation efforts were unsuccessful. Gordon told media that when she saw Sabourin’s body, his face was covered in bruises, and a tube filled with blood was in his throat.

Because this death involved private security, Edmonton Police Service (EPS) are the ones investigating. The Alberta Serious Incident Response Team (ASRIT), which covers formal police forces, had not been informed of the case prior to media inquiries.

Mr. Sabourin was father to four sons, aged 11 to 19. Shauna Gordon is caring for them and tells media they are stunned by his loss. In her words, “They are extremely angry. They’re unable to breathe, just crying and crying in my house. It’s really devastating.”

The family has set up a fundraiser to cover funeral costs and arrangements.


March 7. Ontario Provincial Police. Shot.

Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) shot and killed one person and arrested another following a police pursuit north of Latchford in Temiskaming District on March 7. The SIU is investigating.

It is reported that Kirkland Lake OPP tried to stop a vehicle near Government Road West and Woods Street in Kirkland Lake at around 5 PM. Police claim the vehicle failed to stop and officers from the Kirkland Lake OPP and the Temiskaming OPP engaged in a police chase (“suspect apprehension pursuit”). The chase was apparently extensive as the distance from the intersection in Kirkland Lake to the area of Highway 11 and Portage Bay Road, where police focused their investigation, ranges from about 100 kilometres to 120 kilometres depending on route.

A shelter-in-place was issued in Latchford and surrounding area for several hours. Witnesses who were stuck on the highway took to social media to say they believed the incident involved a high-speed chase.


March 7. Burnaby RCMP. Custody.

The Independent Investigations Office of BC (IIO) is investigating the death of a woman while in Burnaby RCMP custody on March 7. It is reported that officers arrested a woman near Moscrop Street and Deer Lake Parkway at approximately 9 AM. Later that day, she was found unresponsive while in custody at the Burnaby detachment. It is reported that RCMP had arrested the woman the night before and released her, before arresting her again an hour later. Resuscitation efforts were not successful, and she was later pronounced dead.

No other details are available at this time.


March 12. Sûreté du Québec. Custody.

A person who fell unconscious at a police station after being arrested by Sûreté du Québec (SQ) on March 1 in Campbell’s Bay, Quebec, has died.

It is reported that on March 1, around 8:40 AM, SQ officers allegedly arrested a person at his home. Around 11:15 AM, the person was found unconscious on the floor of the interrogation room. First aid was provided and the person was then transported to a hospital where their condition was considered serious.

It was reported on March 12 that the person had died.


March 15. Patrick Robert Kimmel. Calgary Police. Shot.

Police in Calgary shot and killed a man, identified by neighbours as Patrick Robert Kimmel (45), on March 15, after what police say was “a 30-hour armed standoff.” It is reported that members of both the Calgary tactical unit and RCMP emergency response team fired their weapons. Witnesses reported “the sound of explosions and a volley of gunfire” after which Mr. Kimmel was dead. In audio from a video recorded by a neighbour and subsequently released to media, a tactical team member can be heard to say, “we’re going to have to amp things up a little bit.”

Police had been stationed outside a home in the 300 block of Penswood Way SE, in the Penbrooke Meadows neighbourhood of southeast Calgary since 3:30 PM in the afternoon of March 14. Police say they were at the residence as part of an ongoing firearms investigation and people not involved in the investigation were able to leave the home before the man barricaded himself inside.

Police claim the man inside started shooting shortly after their arrival. Some nearby homes were evacuated, and a shelter-in-place order was called for the neighbourhood. Some residents were not allowed to return to their homes for several hours and the Calgary Emergency Management Agency opened an information centre at the Village Square Leisure Centre. Memorial Drive, a busy Calgary thoroughfare, was shut down between 52nd Street SE and 68th Street SE.

At least one police sniper with a scoped rifle entered a neighbouring home. Another neighbour has reported that a CPS sniper “also set up a perch on his property.”

Neighbours who witnessed the police siege said they saw police flooding the basement of the residence through a window. They also said that police tried to smoke the victim out. Several windows in the residence were “blown out.” Neighbours reported that police set off several “flash bombs.”

Police claim the situation “escalated” at around 8:30 PM and members of the Calgary tactical unit and RCMP emergency response team fired their weapons, killing the man. It has not been explained who or what “escalated” the situation, a key question given police suggestions about amping things up. No one in the community was hurt as a result of alleged gunfire from the man who was killed.

Police say there were intermittent negotiations with the man over the 30-hour period. It has not been reported what “escalated” the situation or why police decided to open fire and kill the man. CPS Chief Mark Neufeld suggested the man’s alleged “history of weapons offences” influenced police actions during the incident.

Many questions remain, of course. People are starting to ask what police meant by “amping things up” during the siege. There are also questions about what role police presumptions about the victim played in their response.


March 22. Wood Buffalo RCMP. Intoxication Arrest.

A man died in Wood Buffalo RCMP custody on March 22, after an intoxication arrest at a homeless shelter the prior evening. It is reported that on March 21, Wood Buffalo RCMP responded to a call regarding an intoxicated man at the Centre of Hope homeless shelter at 7:50 PM. The man was reportedly co-operative with police during the arrest and was detained at the Wood Buffalo RCMP detachment cell block at approximately 8:20 PM.

Police say the man was able to walk on his own and was verbally responsive with the police officers and the cell guard. They claim he showed no visible injury or illness. Police report the man went to sleep in the cell block at about 11:50 PM.

On March 22, at 5:28 AM, the cell guards determined that the man was unresponsive, and a call was placed to Emergency Medical Services (EMS). The man was pronounced dead by EMS at 6:11 AM.

Intoxication arrests are often deadly. The practice should be discontinued. People in need of help or support should receive appropriate health care, not police. Such resources should be provided for unhoused people seeking shelter and support, but instead municipalities and provinces fund police.

Wood Buffalo is the largest municipality by area in North America. It is the site of the Athabasca tar sands.


March 28. Montreal Police. Two Victims. Police Chase.

Quebec’s police oversight agency, the Bureau des enquêtes indépendantes (BEI), is investigating after two men in their twenties were killed in what is reported as a police pursuit in the Rosemont neighbourhood of Montreal on March 28.

According to the BEI, a Service de police de la ville de Montréal (SPVM) police officer was responding to a 911 call reporting gunshots and dangerous driving shortly after 5:30 AM. While driving with lights flashing the officer reportedly spotted a vehicle that was driving dangerously and appeared to match the description of the vehicle in the 911 call. He pursued it. The BEI say that about one minute later, the driver of that vehicle crashed into a tree. One person was declared dead at the scene and the other died later in hospital.

The BEI has assigned five investigators to examine the case. The BEI is not an independent oversight agency and relies on other police forces for their investigations. In this case they will be assisted by the SQ. Showing the conflict of interest this involves, the SQ is simultaneously carrying out the criminal investigation into the alleged gunshots and dangerous driving that occurred before the police intervention.


March 31. Red Deer RCMP. Custody.

The Alberta Serious Incident Response Team (ASIRT) is investigating an in-custody death in Red Deer on March 31, 2024. It is reported that Red Deer RCMP were sent to a residence on 50 Avenue regarding a male acting erratically and running onto the roadway at 10:56 PM on March 25. RCMP say a man was arrested and transported to the Red Deer detachment.

While detained in cells, police say the man appeared to be in medical distress and EMS was called. He became unresponsive and life-saving measures and CPR were initiated. He was then transported to the Red Deer Regional Hospital where he was being monitored in the ICU.

On March 31, at 2:00 PM, Red Deer RCMP were notified that the man was declared dead. Police say he had “succumbed to his injuries in the ICU,” but no explanation has been given for what those injuries or how he received them. The death was reported publicly on April 2.


Jeff Shantz is a long-time anti-authoritarian organizer, researcher, and writer who lives and works on Kwantlen, Katzie, and Semiahmoo territories (Surrey, British Columbia).

Please subscribe to The Media Co-op's newsletter!

Creative Commons Licence