Skip to main content

New details released in Innisfil, Ont. ambush shooting that claimed lives of 2 police officers


Ontario's Police watchdog released new details about the evening two South Simcoe police officers were shot and killed in an Innisfil house in October.

A new report issued by the Special Investigations Unit (SIU) reveals that on October 11, 2022, the homeowner called the police to report the suspect, identified as 22-year-old Chris Doncaster, "had grabbed her eyeglasses from her face and broken them and punched a hole in the wall" and she wanted him "removed" from the house located near the 25th Sideroad.

The SIU states three officers responded to the domestic call, and while one officer was speaking with the homeowner, gunshots rang out.

Two officers, Const. Morgan Russell, 54, and Const. Devon Michael Northrup, 33, were fatally wounded.

According to the report, the third officer immediately grabbed his gun and began shooting down the stairs into the dark basement.

When there was no response after the officer fired several rounds, the SIU reports he looked down the stairs to find Doncaster's lifeless body wearing a bulletproof vest with an SKS semi-automatic rifle lying nearby.

An autopsy of his body confirmed Doncaster had shot himself.

The timing from when the officers turned onto the street after being dispatched to the initial domestic call to when shots had been fired was less than 15 minutes, according to the report.

Voice recordings obtained by the SIU reveal the moment after Constables Morgan and Northrup were gunned down.

"Officers down! Officers down! We need backup now," the third officer screamed to dispatch. "I've got two officers down! I need backup right now!!"

The agency reports Doncaster was known to police and had previously been removed from the house by officers.

The report reveals the gunman waited to ambush the officers when they arrived. 

It states that a dispatcher taking the initial call from the homeowner asked if there were any weapons involved.

"Nope," the homeowner replied.

When asked if the suspect was on any medication or had been drinking alcohol, again, the homeowner said she didn't believe so.

"I just want him removed. He can get out of this house," the homeowner said to the dispatcher, according to the report.

"At the time of the call, the complainant (Doncaster) was downstairs, and he knew the [police] had been called," the report notes.

The agency has said neither officer had drawn their weapon.

The third officer was not physically harmed and has since been cleared of any wrongdoing in opening fire.

"We are relieved that this process has been completed and that the officer was determined to be legally justified in his actions.

Of course, no investigation can ever bring back our beloved fallen officers, Morgan Russell and Devon Northrup, but at least we can now close one chapter of this tragedy," stated South Simcoe Police Chief John Van Dyke.

The SIU is an independent government agency that investigates the conduct of officials that may have resulted in death, serious injury, sexual assault and/or the discharge of a firearm at a person. All investigations are conducted by SIU investigators who are civilians. Top Stories

Stay Connected