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Toronto police officer stabbed, suspect shot

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A Toronto police officer shot a 28-year-old man who stabbed him during an altercation in the city's west end on Friday afternoon, the province's police watchdog said.

The incident occurred at around 1:30 p.m. in the parking lot of a plaza in the area of College Street and Lansdowne Avenue.

Kristy Denette, a spokesperson for the Special Investigations Unit (SIU), told reporters at the scene that Toronto police received a call at a residence about a person in crisis.

Officers located the man outside the Tim Hortons and attempted to apprehend him under the Mental Health Act, Denette said.

"There was some type of struggle with two officers that were on scene," she said. The officers then deployed their Tasers twice, but they were ineffective.

"During that struggle, the man produced a knife and stabbed an officer. And that officer shot the man, I believe, one time," Denette said.

The officer and the man were taken to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries and are in stable condition.

Police are shown at the scene of an incident near College Street and Lansdowne Avenue on Friday. Police say that an officer was stabbed and a suspect in that stabbing was shot. (CP24)

Video obtained by CTV News Toronto shows officers in the parking lot of the plaza struggling with a person on the ground between two parked cars. At one point in the video, two officers are seen with their guns drawn, pointing their firearms at the person, who falls to the ground a short time later.

Denette said SIU investigators are collecting evidence and talking to witnesses at the scene. The SIU is called in any time police are involved in an incident that results in death, serious injury, or allegations of sexual assault.

Toronto police Deputy Chief Lauren Pogue confirmed that the officer was stabbed in the leg during a brief update at the scene.

"I want to take a moment to acknowledge the bravery and the dedication of our officers who put themselves in harm's way to keep others in the community safe. Their commitment to duty and the public safety is commendable," Pogue said.

She did not share further details about what transpired, as the SIU is now involved.

A woman who claims she is the girlfriend of the suspect recounted the incident began inside the Tim Hortons, where they were having coffee.

The officers showed up and told them that they had a warrant for her boyfriend, Francie Peria told reporters at the scene. She said the officers then dragged her boyfriend outside and tackled him.

Francie Peria, who says her boyfriend Gabriel (not pictured) was shot by police after he stabbed an officer, speaks to media in Toronto on Friday, April 12, 2024. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Arlyn McAdorey

"That's kind of when everything started escalating," Peria said.

She described being so in shock as it was unfolding that she did not hear the gunshot. "I heard the Taser go off. I didn't hear the gun even," Peria said.

She claimed that her boyfriend apologized to the officer after stabbing him.

"I never thought that this would happen," Peria said. "I really didn't think he deserved to get shot. Same with the police officer who got stabbed. I understand it's not right either."

The incident comes just days after Toronto police said two officers were injured in separate assaults in the city on Tuesday night. One of the officers sustained serious injuries to his leg and had to undergo surgery, the Toronto Police Association (TPA) told CP24 earlier this week.

TPA President Jon Reid told reporters that he expects the officer who was injured Friday to make a full recovery.

"All things considered, he is in good spirits," Reid said on Friday afternoon outside St. Michael's Hospital, where the officer is receiving treatment.

Reid said the officer is in his early 20s and new to the service but had recently completed his training.

"Today's incident is going to have rippling effects across the service and particularly through people's families because no one expects their loved one to go to work and end up like this at the end of the day," he added.

"This was a situation where it can get out of control very quickly, and I believe that is what happened today, where it went from not a threat of violence to violence."

When asked about the recent injuries sustained by officers on the job in Toronto this week, Reid expressed frustration and anger.

"I have had enough with what is going on in this city. This is the third officer we have had injured now in three days. We had a uniformed officer punched in the face walking down the street a few days ago, another officer with a broken leg, and now this. It has to stop," he said.

"The violence has to stop."

In a post on social media, Toronto Mayor Olivia Chow called the incident on Friday "troubling."

"I wish the injured officer a quick recovery," she wrote. "This week, three (Toronto police) officers were injured doing their duties. One (was) assaulted walking down the street, another hurt intervening in a car theft, and now this troubling incident. Violence is never acceptable."

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