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Gunsmith Rodger Kotanko Killed by Police; TPS Releases Crime Stats

Norfolk County gunsmith Rodger Kotanko was shot and killed by a Toronto Police Services SWAT team on November 3, 2021. 

Our deepest condolences go out to Rodger Kotanko’s family for their loss.

What we know:

  • Members of Toronto Police Services executed a weapons-related search warrant on November 3rd and an officer discharged his firearm.[i]
  • 70-year-old Rodger Kotanko was pronounced dead at hospital[ii]
  • Ontario’s Special Investigations Unit (SIU) is asking anyone with information, videos or pictures related to the incident to contact them.
  • The OPP declined to comment, deferring questions to the SIU.[iii]
  • The SIU has identified one Toronto police officer as the subject of its investigation, as well as three police witnesses.[iv]
  • An agency spokesperson said the investigation could take months.[v]
  • Mark Donnell of Simcoe, a life-long friend of Kotanko’s, said he has it from “a reliable source” that Kotanko was shot once in the neck and three times in the chest.[vi]
  • SIU spokesperson Kristy Denette said the interaction involved members of the Toronto Police Service and Norfolk OPP were not involved.[vii]
  • Fraser Pringle, who lives down the street from Kotanko, said, “They shot a gunsmith. You have to put that in there. He has guns because he’s a gunsmith. He had a customer with him too.”[viii]

What we don’t know:

  • Everything else and, if SIU’s comment is accurate, we won’t know anything more for quite some time.


Toronto Police Service Releases Crime Stats for October

Toronto remains Canada’s shooting capital, according to stats released by the Toronto Police Service (TPS) on November 1, 2021.

“The biggest problem we have in this city — the volume of guns that are coming across the border,” said Toronto Police Chief James Ramer. “We’re going to make our best efforts to be proactive in terms of dealing with offenders using guns, those distributing guns — which, quite frankly, is really a scourge for us.”[ix]

Chief Ramer said internal data shows about 80 per cent of crime guns traced by the Toronto Police Service came from the United States – an issue Canada’s last Public Safety Minister essentially ignored.

“There were quite a few of the shootings that we’re seeing where people involved in those shootings are affiliated to gangs; whether that particular murder is motivated by that affiliation or not, ultimately, gets answered down the road during a trial,” said TPS Inspector Hank Idsinga, Commander of the Homicide squad.

So far this year, the TPS has reported 350 shooting incidents with 179 people injured or killed.

As of October 3t, this year’s 40 shooting deaths so far are higher than the total annual shooting deaths for every year since 2004 with the exception of three years: 2005, 2018 and 2019.[x]

The Toronto Police Service knows shootings are fuelled by drug dealers, gangs and illegal guns smuggled in from the United States, so why does the Trudeau Liberal government insist federally-licensed, RCMP-vetted firearm owners are the problem?

Could it be their agenda is driven by something other than the data?






[iv] ibid

[v] ibid


[vii] ibid

[viii] ibid



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