OCC Inquest - Ross 2016

Office of the Chief Coroner

Verdict of Coroner’s Jury

Office of the Chief Coroner

The Coroners Act – Province of Ontario


Surname: Ross
Given name(s): John Caleb
Aged: 21


Held at: 25 Morton Shulman Avenue, Toronto
From: October 3
To: October 13, 2016
By: Dr. David Evans, Coroner for Ontario
having been duly sworn/affirmed, have inquired into and determined the following:

Name of deceased: John Caleb Ross
Date and time of death: April 13, 2014 at 2:41 a.m.
Place of death: Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, Toronto
Cause of death: Gunshot wound to the chest
By what means: Suicide

(original signed by Foreman and Jurors)


This verdict was received on the 13th of October, 2016
Coroner’s name: Dr. David Evans
(original signed by Coroner)


We, the jury, wish to make the following recommendations:


Inquest into the death of:

John Caleb Ross


Jury Recommendations

To the appropriate Ministry, Agency or Institution:

  1. Conduct a public service announcement about suicide: suicide prevention, statistics, warning signs and available resources.

To the York Regional Police Service:

  1. Incorporate this case as a scenario learning tool at the YRP Training Facility in order to develop police officer skills in de-escalation.
  2. Review training given to call takers and dispatchers to ensure they are aware of the need to identify and notify officers of all important information.
  3. A Police Officer involved in a shooting (discharging weapon), should receive immediate access to another police officer in order to talk about the situation without any recourse or ramifications.

To the Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services:

  1. To institute a  re-named model (e.g. “Engagement Model”) to replace the current use-of-force model. The re-named model should be easy to understand and clearly identify de-escalation options, rather than just use-of-force options.
  2. Ontario should consider analyzing Use of Force Reports at the provincial level in order to monitor whether current police training is being employed in the field, and also to identify potential issues or trends that might suggest police training should be reviewed, modified or updated.

To the Minister of Justice (Canada):

  1. It is not currently an offence to possess a replica firearm, even though possession of one in certain circumstances may lead members of the public or law enforcement officials to react as if the replica firearm were capable of firing a projectile that is capable of causing serious bodily injury or death. Consideration should be given to regulating the acquisition/possession of replica firearms to reduce the risk of harm to the person possessing the replica firearm, members of the public and law enforcement officials.

To the Minister of Justice (Canada) and the Minister of Community Safety and Correctional Services (Ontario):

  1. There are firearms which are currently unregulated because they fire a projectile at a velocity of less than 500 feet per second. Possession or use of such firearms in certain circumstances, may lead members of the public and law enforcement officials to react as if the firearm is regulated. Consideration should be given to regulating the import/manufacturing/sale/possession and/or use of firearms that discharge a projectile at a velocity of less than 500 feet per second, to reduce the risk of harm to the person who has the firearm, members of the public and law enforcement officials.
  2. Consideration should be given to mandatory licencing and/or safety courses before one is permitted to obtain/possess/use a replica or an unregulated firearm.

To the appropriate Ministers with the Governments of Canada and Ontario:

  1. Require manufacturers to include a warning label on packaging of replica firearms and firearms which are currently unregulated to inform consumers that these products will be treated as real firearms by law enforcement.
  2. Consider making it an offence to alter or modify anything to make it look more like a replica firearm, unregulated firearm or regulated firearm, or altering a replica firearm, unregulated firearm or regulated firearm so that it looks like something else.

To the Office of the Chief Coroner of Ontario:

  1. Consider review of the present definitions of the classifications of the Manner of Death, especially Suicide.
  2. Encourage family members, friends or others to consider testifying to assist jurors with a better understanding of the deceased.