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'We want answers': Family of Port Dover man, 70, shot by Toronto police speaking out


The family of a Port Dover man who was shot and killed by Toronto police earlier this month spoke about the incident on Thursday.

Rodger Kotanko, 70, was shot by police on Nov. 3 when police were conducting a search warrant at his Port Dover home.

"Right now, we're just baffled," Kotanko's sister, Suzanne Kantor, said at a press conference on Thursday morning. "We want answers, we want to know why it happened."

At the press conference, Kotenko's family asked why Toronto police travelling 150 kilometres away from their headquarters and fired four shots at Kotanko.

"He told me that he'd probably die sitting at his bench," his brother, Jeffrey Kotanko, said. "But, I don't think he ever imagined or that he'd be gunned down for no reason while sitting at his bench."

Jeffrey said Rodger was a well-respected gunsmith and had a repair shop at his home.

"He had licences for everything," Jeffrey said.

More than 100 community members came to Thursday's press conference to support the family.

The family's lawyer, Michael Smitiuch, said they haven't seen the warrant police had to search Rodger's shop, and questioned why Toronto police responded in the first place.

"They came, they travelled 150 kilometres with their own ambulance," he said. "Why?"

The province's Special Investigations Unit has been called in to investigate Kotenko's death. However, the family said the SIU isn't communicating with them.

"In particular, the lead investigator, he has not even returned my email or call at all," Smitiuch said.

A release issued by the SIU on Thursday afternoon said the investigation is ongoing.

According to the release, SIU investigators have collected one police-issued firearm, which was sent to the Centre of Forensic Sciences for analysis.

The SIU has designated one subject official and seven witness officials. They've interviewed five witness officials and two civilians.

A post-mortem was performed on Nov. 4. The final report hasn't been released.

Officials with the SIU said Rodger's family "are engaged in the SIU’s Affected Persons Program, which includes support services."

Rodger's family said they want justice and won't let this go until their questions are answered.

Toronto police declined to comment, citing the SIU investigation. Top Stories

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