Three Canadian law enforcement officers have been charged with manslaughter in the 2020 shooting death of an 18-month old baby, officials announced Wednesday.
Toddler Jameson Shaprio was shot and killed in November 2020 when constables with the Ontario Provincial Police attempted to stop a truck driven by the boy’s father in the City of Kawartha Lakes, according to the The Peterborough Examiner.
Police said the man had abducted his son from a home in Trent Lakes, about 25 miles away.
The 33-year-old father crashed the truck into a police cruiser at a roadblock, seriously injuring OPP officer Chris Dobbs who was laying down spike strips in the road.
A fight broke out after the crash and three officers opened fire on the vehicle, fatally striking young Jameson and his father.
Joseph Martino, director of the Ontario Provincial Police’s Special Investigations Unit, told the Examiner that there are, “reasonable grounds to believe that three Ontario Provincial Police officers committed criminal offenses” in relation to the death of the child.
OPP Constables Nathan Vanderheyden, Kenneth Pengelly and Grason Cappus were each charged with manslaughter and criminal negligence causing death.
They are scheduled to appear in court in Lindsay on October 6, the newspaper reported.
“When a tragedy such as this occurs, it affects the families, the community and our whole service. It is devastating when an innocent life is lost during an incident,” OPP Commissioner Thomas Carrique said in a statement.
A GoFundMe page has been set up to assist Jameson’s mother, Tara Shapiro, who has been left two raise her two other autistic children as a single mother.