News East West
TORONTO: An Indian gunman, who was shot dead by police on Friday while trying to shoot his way into a court complex in Brampton on the outskirts of Toronto, has been identified by his relatives as 46-year-old Charnjit Sonny Bassi.
Brampton, a Toronto suburb town, has one of the largest Indian populations in Canada.
The SIU (Special Investigations Unit), which independently investigates killings in police encounters and was withholding the name of the gunman because his family “has not consented to the release of his identity,’’ identified him as Charnjit Singh Bassi.
A 53-year-old police officer, named Mike Clarenbeek, who was badly injured in the attack, is recovering in hospital.
According to eyewitnesses, Bassi tried to enter the courthouse lobby through the security entrance designated for lawyers and other staff.
When a police officer stopped him, he started shooting. Police officers responded quickly, shooting him dead.
Bassi’s nephew confirmed that it was his uncle who was shot dead. He told the Toronto Star, “We haven’t seen the body. The SIU (Special Investigations Unit) were here yesterday. They said the autopsy was done.’’
He said his uncle was “very humble. He was into meditation and yoga. He never got angry at anyone. Eventually, he said he was going to leave this materialistic world and go to India to meditate.’’
Bassi has a daughter and he was living with his mother. The house was searched by police on Saturday for clues to Bassi’s motives.