Halton Police cruisers sat outside the Hamilton Police Service central station Tuesday, about five hours after a police officer shot himself at the station. Halton Police are investigating the incident. Samantha Craggs/CBC
A Hamilton police officer is in critical condition in hospital and not expected to survive after shooting himself at the central police station Tuesday afternoon.
A police statement said only that an officer "was injured" at the King William Street station at approximately 1 p.m. A source confirmed to CBC News in Hamilton that the officer shot himself.
The Hamilton Spectator is reporting the incident happened in a locker room.
The Hamilton Fire Department confirmed it was called to the police station, but spokesmen would only say firefighters responded to a medical call at the station at 12:54 p.m.
"Our thoughts and prayers are with the officer's family and we will support them in every way," said Hamilton police Chief Glenn DeCaire, in a statement released just before 6 p.m.
"Our critical incident response team is now responding to support our members through this."
De Caire has asked neighbouring Halton Police Service to handle what is a non-criminal investigation.
The chief indicated that neither he nor any other member of the police service would be providing any further information or comment on the incident.
Police wouldn't identify the officer, but a police source told CBC News that the officer has been superb at his job — "one of our all stars."
He is respected by the courts, other officers and even some of the hardened criminals he has arrested, the source said. He's done undercover work and seen "things we can only imagine" in his job.
Hamilton Mayor Bob Bratina said his prayers are with the officer, his family and the entire police service.
"The acceptance of this responsibility carries far greater weight than many can understand," Bratina said. "I expressed the care, concern and sympathy of all Hamiltonians."
The mood at Hamilton police central station will no doubt be grim for some time, according to retired police detective Kevin Bryan, who worked with York Regional Police for 30 years. Four officers died over the course of his time with York police.
"When a death happens, it's just terrible," Bryan told CBC News. "It makes you realize that you're vulnerable."
"It's very quiet at the station. It's very solemn. It's not a rally point. It's not good."
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