Details are still emerging about a police involved shooting at the Northumberland Hills Hospital emergency room during which two people were left dead, at least one whom was killed by police. The incident unfolded right before midnight, Friday, October 27, 2017, at the hospital in Cobourg, Ontario, a small town about 115 Kilometers east of Toronto. The two victims are a husband and wife in their 70s. The Special Investigations Unit (SIU), which examines cases of police harm to civilians in Ontario, is investigating.
SIU spokesperson Jason Gennaro has publicly stated that police in Cobourg were initially called to the hospital emergency room on reports of the sound of gunshots at about 11 PM. The SIU reports that police claim they encountered the 70-year-old man and two officers fired their weapons striking the man and killing him. He was pronounced dead on the scene. The SIU reports that officers then found a 76-year-old woman who was dead, apparently of some type of head wound.
The SIU has only confirmed that the couple were admitted to hospital. “for unknown ailments” and that at some point in the evening they had been next to each other on gurney’s in a triage area of the emergency room. Other important details have not been released publicly or confirmed.
There has been some speculation that the woman had been shot, but Gennaro would not confirm that. It has also not been confirmed at this point that the man had any type of weapon.
One witness claims hearing at least five or six shots after police arrived. Other witnesses have reported hearing multiple shots in a manner that suggested to them the use of an assault weapon.
Northumberland Hills Hospital has only confirmed in a statement that there was a “serious incident” in its emergency department that involved a weapon. There are no details on whether this refers to the police weapons or another weapon. The SIU has not confirmed that the man had a weapon, but questions have been asked of the hospital how a patient with a gun could be admitted.
The SIU has assigned six investigators and two forensic investigators to investigate this shooting by police.