Charnjit Singh (Sonny) Bassi of Brampton shot dead at courthouse after shooting officer, friends baffled


ONTARIO’S Special Investigations Unit (SIU) on Monday identified the man killed by police at a Brampton courthouse on Friday (March 28) last week as Charnjit Singh (Sonny) Bassi, 45, of Brampton.

When an officer called Bassi over after he reportedly tried to bypass a security lineup at the A. Grenville and William Davis Courthouse at 7755 Hurontario Street in Brampton, Bassi allegedly started shooting at police. He shot an officer before another officer shot and killed him.

One news report said that a witness said Bassi tried to rush through the lawyers’ entrance  near the front entrance instead of going through the security checkpoint for visitors and was challenged by an officer.

Peel Regional Police Constable Mike Klarenbeek, 53, was shot in the abdomen. He has now been transferred out of intensive care.

The SIU announced in a press release that it has 15 investigators and three forensic investigators probing the circumstances of this incident.

Peel Regional Police Homicide and Missing Persons Bureau investigators are conducting a full investigation into the actions and activities of Bassi leading up to the events that transpired on March 28. In particular, investigators are trying to determine what brought Bassi to the Brampton Courthouse and his intentions on that date.

Bassi’s neighbors told the media that he lived with his mother while his ex-wife lived down the street and their young daughter used to move between the two homes.

The Toronto Star reported that Bassi’s friends said he emigrated from India around 1986. His first marriage was an arranged one and ended quickly. His second marriage ended in a 2012 divorce in 2012.  But he and his ex-wife remained friendly and he even mowed her lawn occasionally.

Media reports quoting Bassi’s friends said that he had turned very religious in recent years and this seemed to help him deal with challenges he was facing. He had given up meat and alcohol. He was halfway finished writing a religious book.

The Mississauga News reported that Bassi had been previously charged with aggravated assault, weapons offences, credit card fraud and conspiracy to commit an indictable offence.

However, he was not facing any criminal proceeding in court last week and he did not have any outstanding charges, according to media reports.

The Toronto Star said his friends were disappointed that a proper effort wasn’t made to revive Bassi after the shooting. A bystander video taken immediately after the shooting shows police attempting to handcuff Bassi as he lies face down on the floor.