The Waterloo Regional Police officer who fatally shot Beau Baker will not face criminal charges.

Ontario’s Special Investigations Unit released the results of its investigation into Baker’s death on Tuesday.

It found that although a police officer did shoot Baker seven times, he was doing it in the interest of community safety.

“The officer says he fired his weapon believing it was necessary to ward off a knife attack from Mr. Baker,” SIU director Tony Loparco said in a news release.

Baker, 20, was shot on April 2 while standing outside a townhouse on Brybeck Crescent in Kitchener.

The SIU’s report is the first document publicly detailing the events of that night.

According to the SIU, Baker called 911 that evening threatening to kill himself and hurt others – including police and paramedics – and warned the dispatcher that he had a knife police would have to take from him by force.

A police officer responded to his apartment, and found Baker standing on the front steps of the building with a knife in his hand.

The officer drew his weapon, the SIU says, pointed it at Baker and repeatedly ordered him to drop his knife.

After a brief standoff, Baker allegedly approached the officer with the knife, prompting him to fire his weapon seven times.

Speaking to reporters after the release of the SIU report, Chief Bryan Larkin said he understood why people might question the officer’s firing seven shots, but backed his officer’s conduct.

“The community was at risk. It was very evident … that the potential for significant, grievous bodily harm and/or death were imminent,” he said.

According to Loparco, Ontario law allows for such actions when defending oneself or another person from an attack.

“Mr. Baker had demonstrated a willingness to use the knife to inflict harm on the officer,” Loparco said.

“Mr. Baker had also threatened to hurt others and the officer had to be concerned that he might make good on those threats.”

Loparco also noted that when all the shots were fired, Baker was on his feet.

Calling the incident a “tragedy,” Larkin said public safety remained the overriding concern.

“Police officers are put in harm’s way daily, and they have to make difficult decisions where all of us afterwards … get to question those decisions,” he said.

The chief also praised the actions of the officer immediately after the shooting – when he and a second officer attempted CPR on Baker.

The SIU investigation included interviews with the officer who fired his weapon, nine other police officers and 21 civilians.

With that investigation concluded, Waterloo Regional Police are now conducting their own internal review.