Nova Scotia

RCMP commissioner 'absolutely' welcomes inquiry into N.S. shooting rampage

The top decision-maker in the RCMP says she welcomes an external review of the shooting rampage that swept across parts of Nova Scotia over two days in April, killing 22 victims.

'In any type of lethal use of force there's always many reviews. So, absolutely, there needs to be a review,'

RCMP Commissioner Brenda Lucki says there will be an internal review of the Nova Scotia shooting, but she also welcomes a provincial or federal inquiry. (Adrian Wyld/The Canadian Press)

RCMP Commissioner Brenda Lucki "absolutely" welcomes an external review of the shooting rampage that swept across Nova Scotia over two days in April, leaving 22 victims and the gunman dead.

"We don't get it perfect every time," Lucki told CBC News on Wednesday. 

"We absolutely try to get it perfect every time but when it doesn't, we need to figure out why it hasn't gone perfect and that's what a good review will do."

Public calls for an inquiry have been widespread, and Premier Stephen McNeil and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau have both expressed their support, but a plan has not been finalized.

There's been some bandying back and forth between the two levels of government about which should take the lead on an inquiry, leading family members of one of the shooting victims to plead for the province and Ottawa to stop with the jurisdictional debate and start providing answers.

Nova Scotia Minister of Justice Mark Furey told reporters last Thursday that details of a review into the shooting would be released this week.

What an inquiry would probe

The gunman reportedly attacked his common-law wife before starting his killing spree in Portapique, N.S., on April 18, leaving some calling for a close inspection of the role misogyny may have played in the killer's actions.

Others have asked for scrutiny over the absence of a provincewide emergency alert during the shooting.

RCMP were warned in 2011 that the gunman wanted to "kill a cop," and a former neighbour said she reported him for domestic violence and possession of illegal firearms in 2013. But little came of those complaints.

Lucki did not respond directly when she was asked if a review needed to look at why the RCMP didn't follow up thoroughly on those tips.

"In any type of lethal use of force there's always many reviews. So, absolutely, there needs to be a review," Lucki said, referring to the gunman's death. He was shot and killed by RCMP officers at a service station.

Lucki said there would also be an internal review of those actions, because RCMP can't wait for results from an inquiry.

"We need to know if there's something right now that needs to be changed or needs to be amended so that we're ready, god forbid, if something else happens."

With files from Rosemary Barton

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