Moncton Mountie shootings: RCMP internal review ordered
Commissioner Bob Paulson calls discussion about RCMP weapons, protection 'very superficial'
An internal RCMP review of the shooting deaths of three Mounties in Moncton and the wounding of two others will be headed by retired assistant commissioner Phonse MacNeil, the former commanding officer of H Division in Nova Scotia.
RCMP Commissioner Bob Paulson said all facets of the June 4 shootings in Moncton "need to be understood" and asked MacNeil to head the review.
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"Clearly the death of our three members in the course of duty and the near deaths of many others demand that we seek to fully understand the facts, learn from them and if required, change our practices promptly," said Paulson in a June 25 statement.
"I am of the view that this can take place without interfering with the criminal justice path this accused will follow. Indeed, we must do this analysis and make any necessary changes long before the court process concludes. The safety and security of our members demand it."
Const. Douglas James Larche, 40, Const. Dave Joseph Ross, 32, and Const. Fabrice Georges Gevaudan, 45, were killed while responding to reports of a heavily armed gunman walking through a Moncton neighbourhood on the evening of June 4. Const. Éric Stéphane J. Dubois and Const. Marie Darlene Goguen were wounded.
Justin Bourque, 24, of Moncton, is facing three first-degree murder charges and two attempted murder charges in connection with the shootings.
Paulson criticizes 'careless' analysis
On the heels of the shooting, questions surfaced about whether the slain and wounded officers were adequately armed and protected to deal with someone using high-powered firearms.
"There has already been some analysis done and distributed by people who — while perhaps asserting an interest in our members’ well-being, health and safety — are being somewhat careless in how they are doing it," stated Paulson in announcing the internal review.
"These early discussions concerning the deployment of hard body armour and carbines are a very superficial, easy and incomplete effort to look for explanations and orient blame for what has happened," he said.
"Our best information at the time that I write this is that J [Division] was in the early days of deploying the C-8: Codiac had four members trained and had six patrol carbines, all of which were otherwise deployed in training and therefore unavailable; and that each car involved in responding to this matter had hard body armour in it," stated Paulson.
"We need to source and confirm this information before making any judgments, but let’s be clear, there is one person responsible for the murder and attempted murder of our colleagues."
Paulson said the internal review will seek to determine whether anything could have been done differently that could have prevented the deaths.
"The scope of this review will be wide ranging and include such areas as whether the accused's actions could reasonably have been foreseen; our initial and longer term response, our training; our tactics; our support for our employees and families; and our equipment," said Paulson.
"In short, all aspects of this terrible incident."
Paulson said Canadians need to "prevent our communities from producing more offenders like this."
"If there are opportunities to get early warnings of this new form of radicalization from our communities we need to pursue them," he said.