Nfld. & Labrador

Don Dunphy fatal shooting only incident premier's security investigated in 2015

A man shot and killed by a member of the security detail for Newfoundland and Labrador Premier Paul Davis was the only incident investigated by the protection unit.
Don Dunphy, seen during a 2011 interview with CBC News, was fatally shot on Sunday by a police officer who was also a member of Premier Paul Davis's security detail. (CBC)

A man shot and killed by a member of the security detail for Newfoundland and Labrador Premier Paul Davis was the only incident investigated by the protection unit.

Don Dunphy, 54, was fatally shot Sunday afternoon by a Royal Newfoundland Constabulary officer investigating a perceived threat made on Twitter against the premier and MHA Sandy Collins.

The RCMP said Dunphy aimed a loaded .22-gauge rifle at the officer, who then pulled his own firearm and shot Dunphy.

A member of the premier's staff first noticed the tweet and alerted police about it, which lead to the officer visiting Dunphy's home in Mitchells Brook.

CBC News asked the RNC how many "threat assessment investigations" have been conducted in the last few years.

So far in 2015, there was only one investigation of this nature in April - the investigation into the tweet from Dunphy that ended in the shooting.

The previous year, police investigated four total threat assessments. Tom Marshall was premier for most of that year.

In 2013, Kathy Dunderdale's last full year as premier, there were 17 threat assessment investigations conducted.

The list covers any threat investigation triggered by a phone call, letter or social media post, and the scope is specific to each individual incident.

However, the RNC says personal visits from officers in an investigation of this nature would not be considered unusual.

None of the other incidents led to a fatal police shooting, but there have been more than 20 investigations like the one that led the officer to Dunphy's home over the last few years.

With files from David Cochrane

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