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Man shot dead by Toronto police after schools locked down had pellet gun, police watchdog says

A man shot dead by police after reports of a person with a rifle forced several schools into lockdown in Toronto Thursday in fact had a pellet gun, Ontario’s police watchdog says.

The Special Investigations Unit (SIU) also says the man was 27.

Toronto Police Chief James Ramer said officers were called to the Port Union area of Scarborough around 1 p.m. Thursday for reports of a person with a gun.

He said officers were “confronted” by an individual, who he confirmed was dead.

Ramer declined to give provide further details, citing an investigation by the SIU.

The SIU confirmed to CBC News Friday morning that a pellet gun was recovered at the scene. 

SIU spokesperson Kristy Denette said preliminary details indicate two police officers fired their weapons at the suspect.

The Special Investigations Unit says it recovered a pellet gun from the scene where a 27-year-old man was shot dead by Toronto police. (Evan Mitsui/CBC)

“The investigation is ongoing to determine the circumstances that led to police shooting the man,” Denette said.

The agency says it has assigned four investigators and three forensic investigators to the case.

Four schools near Maberley Crescent and Oxhorn Road were temporarily locked down after reports of a man walking with a rifle.

The incident comes just two days after a gunman entered a Texas elementary school classroom and killed 19 children and two teachers.

At a news conference Thursday, Ramer said was no threat to public safety, but that officers would be stepping up patrols near the schools for the time being.

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