Nfld. & Labrador

Dunphy neighbour, justice minister frustrated by lack of information from shooting investigation

Don Dunphy's neighbour and friend says Dunphy's family — and the community — need answers, and the province's justice minister agrees.

Work underway to name judge, staff to conduct public inquiry into fatal shooting

The CBC's Peter Cowan went to the Mount Carmel-Mitchells Brook area to see what the community thought of the news that no criminal charges are to be laid in the death of Don Dunphy. 1:29

Don Dunphy's neighbour and friend says Dunphy's family — and the community — need answers.

Tom Hearn lives a couple of houses down from the late Dunphy's home in Mitchell's Brook. On Tuesday, the RCMP said there would be no charges laid against the RNC officer who shot and killed Dunphy in his home April 5, 2015.

"Me and him were pretty good friends," Hearn told CBC on Tuesday.

"We should have answers. We should definitely have an answer. There's something going on somewhere. Give us some answers, what happened, come out with something."

The RCMP investigated the shooting, and the Alberta Serious Incident Response Team examined the RCMP investigation. The RCMP concluded that only necessary force was used by RNC officer Joe Smyth, while the Alberta team said the RCMP's investigation was thorough and unbiased.

Neither report has been released to the public or to Dunphy's family.

Not good enough, said Hearn.

"There's something going on, or someone covering something up. The people here, they should know," he said. "Give us the answer, what Alberta said about it. We're getting no answers, still getting no answers."

If there's no evidence to support charges, said Hearn, people should be able to see that for themselves.

"He was in the house 15 minutes. So he's alive, poor old Don is dead," he said, adding that it's tough on the family to still not know what happened on that Easter Sunday.

"I pities his daughter," he said. "She's got no answers either. There should be some answers for us somewhere."

'A heck of a lot of questions'

Minister Andrew Parsons says work is now ongoing on an inquiry into Don Dunphy's death. (CBC)

Minister of Justice and Public Safety and Attorney General Andrew Parsons also wants answers on what happened the day Dunphy was killed.

Parsons said he felt for Dunphy's family, but thought of what else needs to be done now that no charges will be laid

"My head went immediately to what we need to do next, which is to launch the inquiry into this matter," he said Wednesday on CBC Radio's St. John's Morning Show.

I'm frustrated too. I think everybody is because we don't know what happened.- Andrew Parsons

Parsons said there may have been some concern from the RCMP about released information tainting testimony or a potential inquiry, but he believes the details need to be released. 

"That's why I think the inquiry is needed. I'm in the same position as everybody else, I don't know the facts of this," he said. 

"I'm frustrated too. I think everybody is because we don't know what happened. There's a heck of a lot of questions … and that's why we need the commission, we need an opportunity to have everybody giving testimony under oath, having the compelling of information, documentation, everything."    

Parsons said an inquiry is standard practice in a situation such as this and would be worth the cost to government. He feels it is part of his role as minister and attorney general to have an inquiry and get some answers.

"Nobody has the answers, but I'm confident that we'll get them. The frustrating part is that it's taken so long and there will be more time."

The minister said work is now ongoing to establish the judge, staff and other logistics for an inquiry.

With files from Peter Cowan